After several years of advocacy on the issue, the International Sign Association (ISA), working with the Mid South Sign Association (MSSA), has received an exemption from Louisiana’s phase-out for mercury-added neon signs. Before the decision, sign companies operating in Louisiana were limited to 10 mg of mercury per neon tube, a level below the minimum necessary to operate properly.
To be covered by the exemption, sign companies must join ISA Manufacturer's Designated Industrial Trade Group. Inclusion in the group is free for ISA members and $1,150 for non-members. Anyone wishing to join the group must fill out related paperwork available on ISA’s website and forward the completed paperwork to ISA. Trade group members also must report their annual mercury usage and abide by product labeling requirements, which detail the need for mercury-added signs to be properly collected and recycled at the end of their use.
Companies who are not part of the ISA Manufacturer’s Designated Industrial Trade Group may not manufacture or sell mercury-added neon signs in the state of Louisiana.
“This is an important win for ISA member companies operating in Louisiana and the sign industry at large,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “While we are dedicated as an industry to appropriate use and disposal of substances such as mercury, we’re also committed to delivering the most appropriate sign methods for the businesses that we serve. Building bridges to government entities is important to ensure that we continue to have the ability to create neon signs, which have been valuable to our industry for generations.”
Louisiana is the first member of the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC) to approve a comprehensive exemption which applies to all companies currently belonging to the ISA trade group. IMERC designates the trade groups to ensure compliance by industries that manufacture mercury-added products. The ISA group also will help members comply with requirements that are applicable to all manufacturers of fabricated, mercury-added products.
The form to join the ISA trade group may be found at: www.signs.org/mercuryforms.
To learn more about safe use and recycling methods for mercury-added products, visit www.signs.org/mercuryrecycling.