I heard a long time ago, about the dangers of Compact Fluoresent Light Bulbs. As a result, I went out and bought some of the old incandescent light bulbs for my lamps and lights. I realized that they were going to be disappearing soon, so I made a second trip to the store where I knew they still had some and bought up ten packs. They do not last as long but they are certainly cheap. I am actually going to actively start searching for more.
So, why are they so dangerous? If one breaks and the vapour is released, you and your family can be in grave danger. Emergency procedures must be followed. i will outline those at the end of the blog. There are four to five milligrams of mercury in each bulb. This is enough to contaminate 6000 gallons of water!
“Money saving, compact fluorescent light bulbs emit high levels of ultraviolet radiation, according to a new study. Research at Long Island’s Stony Brook University found that the bulbs emit rays so strong that they can actually burn the skin and skin cells. “The results were that you could actually initiate cell death”, said Marcia Simon, a Professor of Dermatology. Exposure to the bulbs could lead to premature aging and skin cancer, according to doctors. “It can also cause skin cancer in the deadliest form, and that’s melanoma,” said Dr. Rebecca Tung. “When there is something in your house, you don’t perceive any danger, you wouldn’t get that close to an x-ray in a doctor’s office,” explained Miriam Rafallovich, Professor of Materials Science at Stony Brook. So now it turns out these bulbs are also dangerous when they don’t break. The protective phosphor coating inside the glass, which gives the glass its milky white look, can be cracked. The UV rays then can escape to cause damage to those near enough to it. The Stony Brook University study found that all the CFL light bulbs they studied had cracks and imperfect phosphor coating. Prolonged exposure at distances of 8 inches or less can cause both skin and retinal damage.”
The following precautions, from the EPA, need to be followed if one breaks in your home or office.
- People and pets should immediately leave the room.
- Open a window and/or door and Air out the room for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Turn off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system.
- Thoroughly collect broken glass and visible powder using wet cloths. Never use vacuum cleaners or brooms.
- Put all debris and cleanup materials in a sealable container and put outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Do not leaving bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
- If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.
What kind of light bulbs do you use? Please share with us and others in the comments below.