Are you one of the many people who have replaced the traditional light bulb, the heated filament type, with the newer, supposedly more environmentally friendly and energy saving light bulbs, the fluorescent type? It could be a huge mistake!
The chemicals inside these light bulbs are extremely toxic and pose a health risk!
The Agency for the protection of the environment Agency has come up with a procedure to teach us how to conduct ourselves in case the bulb were to break and prevent the harmful chemicals inside the glass from harming us.
There was a study carried out at the German Federal Environment Agency called Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute, that demonstrated that these fluorescent bulbs when broken indoors release twenty times the maximum allowable levels of mercury into the air!
Light Bulb Chemicals Can Cause:
- Cluster headaches
- Inability to concentrate
The health dangers that these bulbs can pose is not small by any stretch of the imagination, there are some important things that you need to know:
The fluorescent type of bulbs contain mercury, it is highly poisonous that can have a dramatic effect on both pregnant women and children. The chemicals in the bulbs are really toxic to the brain, liver and the central nervous system too, they can seriously damage the cardiovascular system and reproductive systems too.
Exposure to mercury can also cause headaches and can cause damage to the immune system too, even memory loss, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, Alzheimer’s even cancer.
Energy Saving Bulbs and UV Rays
The bulbs can emit quite a lot of UV Rays, namely UV-B and some traces of UV-C radiation too. UV can damage the eyes, eventually leading to cataracts, and can also to Skin Cancer.
The radiation in the form of UV can attack the immune system too, damaging skin tissues and cause problems with the production of vitamin D.
Energy Saving Bulbs and Links to Cancer
Berlin’s Alab Lab in Germany carried out studies that were revealed that these types of lights have three known carcinogens, as follows:
A volatile white crystalline compound, a product of the distillation of coal tar, it is used in mothballs and a raw material in manufacturing processes.
This mildly acidic, toxic, white crystalline solid that is also a byproduct from coal tar, it’s commonly used in chemical manufacture, it’s also highly corrosive in its concentrated form.
This is an unsaturated hydrocarbon, it is obtained as a petroleum byproduct, there are
some very good reasons to either go back to old-fashioned bulbs or upgrade to newer LED bulbs!
You will undoubtedly prevent dangerous accidents by being more aware of the dangers present, be really careful with these bulbs as any breakage will pose extremely serious health risks.
The Environmental Protection Agency has given very detailed procedures which serve to help people deal with both the mercury and the cancer-linked chemicals in these light bulbs!
Play safe and get the much newer, more efficient and safer LED style bulbs now available.
Cleanup Procedure To Follow
In the event of breakage of these florescent types of bulbs
The US. Environmental Protection Agency emergency procedure
Your children and pets should vacate the room, then you should open a window or a door to air out the room for around 10minutes. You should also shut off the central forced-air heating/air-conditioning system if you have one.
You will need the following
- Stiff paper or cardboard
- Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes
- Sticky tape
- A glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.
During The Cleanup
Collect the broken glass and powder, but do not vacuum it as it might spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
With the stiff paper or cardboard, scoop up the glass fragments and powder, and pick up the smallest remains with some sticky tape.
Then, place it in the glass jar or plastic bag. The cleanup materials should be stored in a container that can be sealed well.
You should ideally air out the room for a couple of hours, with the heating or air conditioning turned off.
Note – please don’t leave any bulb pieces or cleanup materials at home. Instead, put all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container.
Some localities require you to bring the fluorescent bulbs to a local recycling center, but if yours doesn’t then dispose of them with the household trash.