What is Philips' position on this?
Philips ALTO LFL that contained 3.5mg of mercury in the most commonly used commercial fuorescent lamps 2 to 4' long standard output T8 lamps into ALTO II which contains 1.7mg each. The benefits of this are unclear as more and more states are prohibiting disposal of fluorescent lamps as trash, so 1.7mg or 15mg per lamp makes no difference if they were to be recycled.
It is the opinion of GE Consumer & Industrial's Lighting division that reduction in mercury reduces life and increases probability of early failure as shown here in this document on the second page.
Linked, and also attached as an attachment:
Thanks for asking this question. Though we share with GE the opinion that a little bit of mercury is still needed to operate fluorescent lamps reliably, I am of course unable to give you more specific information about their statement, and what it is based on.
Philips ALTO II lamps have a rated lifetime of 30,000 up to 46,000 hours depending on lamp type and on the way they are being started, and even with just 1.7mg of mercury we state in our technical documentation these kind of rated lifetimes; they are realistic and you can rely on them.
Moreover all ALTO II lamps use 100% recycled mercury during the manufacturing process which makes them far more responsible than fluorescent lamps from other manufacturers that do not recycle mercury.
If you search for ALTO II in the LichtCommunity, you'll find several PDF technical documents attached to various posts that give more detailed information.
I hope this helps
Good luck with your projects!