Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs have Mercury!?!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Many folks don’t know it, but ALL Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. And while using CFLs throughout the house can and does save a significant amount of money because they use less electricity and last longer, they are initially more costly than traditional incandescent bulbs. And yet, the overall cost difference is significant enough to warrant using CFLs over incandescents.

Make no mistake, mercury is a highly toxic element, though it remains useful in numerous industrial, medical and consumer applications and is safely used daily throughout the world. Yes, mercury is an element, and therefore found naturally in the environment, albeit in a solid form. You may recall that mercury is a silvery appearing, liquid metal. And as with anything – including making biscuits, or desserts – special handling is required, predominately for safety.

Safety, as you may have surmised, is the point of this post.

To that extent, I encourage you, the reader – for your benefit – to checkout this important information on the safe handling of broken CFLs.

Cleaning Up a Broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb CFL | Cleanup and Safe Disposal of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs | US EPA.

2 Responses to “Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs have Mercury!?!”

  1. CFLs do save energy, but they also contain small amounts of mercury. As this article states, it is important for consumers to realize that CFLs and fluorescent bulbs require special handling and cannot be thrown away in the trash. The mercury vapor can be detrimental to handlers’ health—from those involved with handling new bulbs to people involved with storing, packaging and shipping used lamps. Mercury vapor, which can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, can cause neurological damage, and when it gets into water, it can enter the food chain through fish. Read more about the dangers of mercury exposure at vaporlok.blogspot.com/2010/05/preventing-health-and-safety-hazards.html.

    In the future, if a bulb is broken, it should be properly cleaned up. Also, to reduce the risk for mercury vapor exposure, CFLs and fluorescent lamps should be safely handled, stored and transported to recycling facilities in a package that is proven to effectively contain hazardous mercury vapor. Find out more about how to minimize environmental risks and safely handle CFLs at vaporlok.blogspot.com/2011/01/minimize-safety-health-and.html


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