Choosing the correct lighting products means creating a safe environment.
Some types of bulbs, specifically compact fluorescent lamps, contain a small amount of mercury, but we can’t safely ignore harm caused by potential contacts with it.
Mercury plays no part in sustaining human life. It is a toxic metal with the potential to devastate our planet.
However, the maximum amount of mercury that we find in a fluorescent compact lamp is about 4 or 5 milligrams. In comparison, old-style thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury, an amount equal to what we can find in 125 CFL bulbs.
So don’t panic if you have a fluorescent bulb at home, but do not ignore the procedure to use and dispose these products correctly.
When a fluorescent compact lamp breaks, the level of mercury in the air can increase. Rapidly the vapour turns to liquid droplets that may stick to surfaces for some time. Especially if the room is not aired sufficiently and cleaned thoroughly.
The lamp can be cleaned up inexpensevely with household goods. The important thing to note is to avoid any contact with the metal.
Below, a few pieces of advice:
- Ventilate the environment
- Wear appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask in order not to inhal the vapours of the metal.
- Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container.
- Collect the smaller pieces and dust. Avoid using a vacuum because it helps the mercury to spread throughout the area.
Like batteries, used or broken CFLs need to be disposed of at a toxic waste depot rather than tossed out with the ordinary household trash. The products require different treatment to the general waste.
Mercury is a dangerous and volatile heavy metal. It can contaminate plants, animals, water and easily arrive on your table.
By choosing a different lighitng solution, like LED, that does not rely on the use of mercury it will help to make your home safer.