In the effort to save electricity and lower the bills, people replace the standard light bulbs with the eco-friendly generation of light bulbs. It is believed that these light bulbs would save us extra money, but the experts claim they are not the right choice.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the US released a protocol regarding the usage of these energy saving light bulbs. This emergency protocol is concentrated in the case of bulb breakage, due to the released dangerous gas.
If the bulb breaks indoor, it releases 20 times more mercury into the air than the maximum acceptable concentration.
This was stated by the researchers from the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute, who has conducted a study for the German Federal Environment Agency.
These light bulbs can lead to:
- Cluster headaches
- Poor concentration
Important Reasons Why You Should Avoid Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
1. Loaded With Mercury
Mercury is a harmful neurotoxin that can seriously harm children and pregnant women health. It can also affect the immune, cardiovascular and reproductive system thus leaving detrimental effects on the nervous system, brain, kidneys, and liver.
The overexposure to mercury can trigger anxiety, tremors, memory loss, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, headache and even cancer.
2. Trigger Cancer
According to a study conducted by Peter Braun, at the Germany’s Alab Laboratory, these light bulbs contain these harmful carcinogens:
- Phenol– is an aromatic organic compound and a white crystalline solid that is produced by coal tar. It is used in the chemical production.
- Naphthalene– is an organic compound and a white crystalline solid that is produced by the coal tar distillation. It is used as a raw material in chemical production, usually in mothballs.
- Styrene– is an unsaturated colorless liquid and a petroleum byproduct.
3. Emit UV Rays
These light bulbs emit traces of UV-C and UV-B radiation. It is a well-known fact that they are harmful to the skin and can cause cancer as well as harm your vision. This UV radiation prevents a normal vitamin D3 production, damages the skin and attacks the immune system.
So, despite the energy and cost saving, these bulbs can seriously affect your overall health and cause many health conditions.
In the case of bulb breakage, the Environmental Protection Agency released detailed protocol about mercury and other carcinogens, which every citizen should follow.
The Official Broken Light Bulb Clean-Up Procedure
This protocol will help you handle with the poison gas without problems:
1. Before Cleanup
- Make sure everyone leaves the room.
- Open a door or window to provide some fresh air.
- Turn off the conditioning/air heating system.
Take these items for easier cleanup:
- Cardboard/ Stiff paper
- Sticky tape
- Wet wipes/ Damp paper towels
2. During Cleanup
Make sure you NEVER use a vacuum cleaner. You can only use it for some glass even after the complete cleanup. This is a dangerous method of cleaning because it will spread the mercury vapors or mercury-containing powder even more.
With the stiff paper scoop up the glass pieces and get the powder and smallest bits with the sticky tape. After usage, discard the used tape in some sealable container.
If you need more information, check the detailed cleanup plan for carpets, hard surfaces and rugs.
Dispose the trash in some sealable container.
3. After Cleanup
Throw the cleanup trash in a trash container or some well-protected area until it is disposed of. Make sure you do not leave the pieces indoors. Ask the local government if they have some disposal requirements regarding this matter.
Some localities require a disposal of fluorescent bulbs in a recycling center, no matter they are unbroken or broken ones. If there are no such requirements, dispose of the waste in your household container.
Make sure you do not close the windows and keep the heating/conditioning system off for few hours.