Mercury can be found in everything from mascara and dental amalgam to thermometers and skin whitening creams. And that’s before it even enters the food chain.
Studies have shown that children as far afield as Brazil, Canada, China and Columbia have all suffered from eating fish containing mercury. The sad reality is too few countries are equipped to deal with the fallout from that use.
Treatment and disposal
The Minamata convention is a chance for the world to work towards safe handling, storage, treatment and disposal of mercury products and waste. It will also make it easier to hold people accountable when laws are broken prohibiting mercury production and illegal disposal and dumping. This is currently a real issue – a huge 90% of electronic goods are illegally dumped, which include lead compounds, cadmium, chromium and mercury. That’s up to 50m tonnes a year!
Objects which contain mercury are commonplace throughout schools: thermometers, fluorescent lights, medical equipment and lamp based projectors are just some of the products in use, putting the health of pupils and teachers at risk.
Lamp-free projection eliminates any risk to students and staff of bulbs blowing in the middle of a lesson and contaminating the classroom. Breathing in mercury vapours can seriously affect the nervous system, lungs and kidneys with any kind of spillages resulting in seriously expensive cleanup operations. This consideration of the environment is at the heart of Casio’s manufacturing process and we are committed to disposing of electrical devices responsibly with our projection recycling scheme.
Although equipment containing mercury may seem like a sound, cost effective solution at the time, the long term investment is crucial to consider, as cleanup operations can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Waste management and disposal
Waste management is really the fundamental issue. Many schools and homes are simply throwing away lamps or electric switches, without realising where it ends up or what the alternatives are for responsible disposal. The government has to educate and inform councils about the dangers of mercury and what the options are for safe removal of products.
Take a look at our recycling scheme and ensure you're acting in a responsible manner when it comes to the disposal of your projectors.