To reduce the amount of mercury in its CFLs, Wal-Mart worked closely with manufacturers GE, Royal Philips, Osram Sylvania and Lights of America. All four suppliers committed to achieving a greater reduction in mercury content than the 5 mg standard set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) earlier this year. These suppliers will also adhere to clean production techniques that will minimize mercury pollution from factories manufacturing CFLs.
Even prior to this announcement, switching to CFLs is a good move for the environment. In addition to dramatically reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, CFLs actually reduce the amount of mercury that goes into the environment for many consumers because they eat up less electricity produced by coal fired power plants. Add to that Home Depot's upcoming CFL recycling program in Canada and the future of CFLs as an environmental solution is strong.
More Q & A on CFL's and mercury available at Green Options.