Mercury is an element (Hg on the periodic table) found naturally in the environment. Mercury emissions in the air can come from both natural and man-made sources. Coal-fired power plants are the largest man-made source because mercury that naturally exists in coal is released into the air when coal is burned to make electricity. Coal-fired power generation accounts for 51% of the mercury emissions in the U.S. (Source: 2005 National Emissions Inventory).
The use of CFLs reduces power demand, which helps reduce mercury emissions from power plants.
For more information on all sources of mercury, visit www.epa.gov/mercury.
For more information about CFLs, visit www.energystar.gov/cfls.