New Research About Mercury and Companct Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Are compact fluorescent bulbs safe?
New research from the journal, Environmental Engineering Science has shown that when compact fluorescent bulbs break, they release both liquid mercury and mercury vapor.
Particularly troubling to researchers is the fact that bulbs can continue to leak mercury vapor for periods longer than 10 weeks.
Here are 2 safety precautions to use when discarding broken bulbs:
1. Immediately discard bulbs into the outside trash, away from people and animals. You can wrap them in a plastic bag.
2. Make sure the rooms where breakage has occurred is well ventillated until the air has been replaced.
Compact fluorescent bulbs do not contain a significant amount of liquid mercury, and thus are not considered hazardous waste. Time will tell whether government officials will consider the amount of vapor to warrant a re-evaluation.
Meanwhile, the above precautions should insure safety. Children are more susceptible to mercury poisoning and should be kept away from any broken bulbs.
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Environmental Release of Mercury from Broken Compact Fluorescent Lamps
Yadong Li* and Li Jin
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi.
February 16, 2011