Panasonic Corp. of Osaka, Japan announced that in 2020 the company plans to stop producing its mercury lamp products, , according to a Japan Times article. Such lamps are used primarily for lighting factories and gymnasiums. The consumer electronics giant reported that it plans to halt the production of the mercury lamps before the Minamata Convention on Mercury begins to prohibit the production, exportation, and importation of high-pressure mercury lamps for general lighting starting in 2021.
Also, Panasonic says it will recommend that mercury lamp users switch to energy-efficient alternatives using LEDs. Specifically, Panasonic will stop making 31 types of mercury lamps used in digital projectors, as well as high-ceiling and street lighting. The company also intends to stop selling the products soon afterward.
The Minamata Convention was named after the city of Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, where decades ago methylmercury-tainted wastewater released from a local plant caused a neurological disorder that came to be known as Minamata disease.