Bills are “killing” us, and we try to save both energy and money for the well-being of everybody. Old-fashioned light bulbs were replaced with eco-friendly energy saving light bulbs.
People thought that these were the best that could ever happen, but experts have some bad news for everyone that got excited over the home-budget-boosting light bulbs.
This made the US Environmental Protection Agency come with an emergency protocol regarding the use of the energy saving bulbs. The protocol is focused on cases of breakage, because these bulbs release toxic gas.
If you break one of these indoors, the bulb will release 20 times the maximum allowed mercury concentration in the air.
This was confirmed by a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute who did a study for the needs of the German’s Federal Environment Agency.
Energy-saving light bulbs can cause:
- Cluster headaches
- Poor concentration
Given that “fancy” bulbs cause anxiety, migraine, and cancer, you have many good reasons to go back to our good ol’ bulbs.
- Energy-saving bulbs are packed with mercury.
It’s a dangerous neurotoxin that has devastating effect on children and expecting moms. Mercury affects your brain, nervous system, liver, and kidneys.
It has detrimental effect on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive system. Excessive exposure to mercury causes tremors, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
- Energy-saving bulbs can cause cancer
Peter Braun at Berlin Germany’s Alab Laboratory conducted a study according to which these bulbs contain the following dangerous carcinogens:
Phenol is a mildly toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar. Phenol is often used in chemical manufacture.
Naphthalene is a volatile white crystalline compound obtained through the distillation of coal tar. It’s commonly used in mothballs. Producers also use it as a raw material in chemical manufacture.
Styrene is an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon. It’s a petroleum byproduct.
- Energy-saving bulbs emit UV rays
The fancy light bulbs emit UV-B and traces of UV-C radiation. UV rays are dangerous for the skin, and may trigger the development of cancer. These are also harmful for your vision. UV radiation attacks the immune system, and damages skin to the extent it prevents the normal production of vitamin D3.
As you can see, cheap price doesn’t really matter, because these light bulbs expose your health at serious risk of developing a severe ailment.
Breaking one of these is the worst thing that can happen to a household, and the Environmental Protection Agency requires that every citizen follows their detailed protocol that involves details about the mercury and the other carcinogens.
The official EPA Broken Bulb Clean-Up Procedure
Follow the following emergency protocol to deal with the poison gas more efficiently.
- Before Cleanup
- Everyone should leave the room.
- Open a window or door to get some fresh air in.
- Turn off the central air heating/conditioning system.
Get the following items to clean the pieces more easily:
- Stiff paper/Cardboard
- Sticky tape
- Damp paper towels/Disposable wet wipes (Use these for hard surfaces only)
- A glass jar with a lid/Sealable plastic bag
- During cleanup
You MUST NEVER vacuum. Do this only if you can still notice glass bits after you do the thorough cleanup. Vacuuming will spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapors even more.
Use the stiff paper to scoop up glass pieces. The sticky tape will help you get the tiniest bits and powder. Discard the used tape in the jar/bag. Check the detailed cleanup plan if you need more information regarding the cleanup of hard surfaces, carpets or rugs.
Dispose the cleanup trash in a sealable container.
- After cleanup
Discard the cleanup waste outdoors in a trash container or protected area until the waste is disposed of. Do not leave the bulb pieces indoors. Require that your local government gives you details about disposal requirements in your town.
Keep in mind that some localities require that fluorescent bulbs are disposed in a recycling center, regardless of whether they are broken or unbroken. If there’s no such thing, dispose the waste in your household trash.
Leave the window open, and the conditioning/heating system off for a few more hours.
Sources and References: