Do you only work to pay your bills? If yes, you probably use those eco-friendly energy saving light bulbs.
This are definitely not the greatest invention of all times, and the US Environmental Protection Agency created an emergency protocol on the use of these bulbs.
When broken, the energy-saving light bulbs release 20 times more mercury than the maximum allowed concentration in closed area.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute confirmed this information in accordance with the study they conducted for the German’s Federal Environment Agency.
Energy-saving light bulbs cause severe health issues, including:
- Cluster headaches
- Poor concentration
These bulbs may give you anxiety, migraine, and cancer. Should we add anything more? It’s time to use your “old-fashioned” bulbs again, right?
- Dangerous amount of mercury
Mercury is a neurotoxin, and it’s hazardous for children and pregnant women. It has a detrimental effect to the nervous system, brain, liver and kidneys.
It also affects the cardiovascular system, your immunity and the reproductive organs. Excessive exposure to high concentrations of mercury causes tremors, anxiety, insomnia, memory loss, headache, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.
- Increased risk of cancer
According to Peter Braun at Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, the energy-saving light bulbs contain deadly concentrations of carcinogens.
Phenol is a toxic white crystalline solid made from coal tar. It’s a common ingredient in chemical manufacture.
Naphthalene is another white crystalline product from the distillation of coal tar. It’s added to mothballs, and producers use it in chemical manufacture.
Styrene is a byproduct of the petroleum production process. It’s an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon.
- UV rays
Your fancy bulbs release UV-B and UV-C rays. UV rays have a destructive effect on skin, cause cancer, and affect vision. UV radiation damages the immune system, and blocks the normal production of vitamin D3.
Price don’t matter, because these bulbs affect your health, and make you susceptible to diseases. The Environmental Protection Agency has a strict protocol based on details about the effect of mercury and other carcinogens.
The official EPA Broken Bulb Clean-up Procedure
Employ the following emergency protocol to protect yourself from the toxic gas.
- Before cleanup
- Leave the room and open the window
- Turn off any heating/conditioning system
Use the following items to clean the mess:
- Stiff paper/cardboard
- Sticky tape
- Damp paper towel/disposable wet wipes
- Jar or sealable plastic bag
- During cleanup
DO NOT vacuum. You can only vacuum after the thorough cleanup. Your vacuum cleaner will only spread the toxic powder and vapors.
The stiff paper will help you collect any pieces, and the sticky tape will trap the tiny pieces and powder. Discard them in your plastic bag. Check the cleanup plan again to make sure you do everything right.
- After cleanup
Discard the plastic bag in your container. Don’t keep the trash inside your house. Ask local government officials to give you more details about the disposal rules in your town.
Some institutions require that you dispose the fluorescent bulbs in a recycling center. This applies to both broken and unbroken bulbs. If you don’t have any, dispose the trash as mentioned before.
The windows should be open for a while, and keep the conditioning system off for the next few hours.