Most of the people in the effort to save money and energy, replaces the old normal light bulbs with those new generations environmentally-friendly energy saving bulbs. But, these new light bulbs are very toxic, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made an emergency protocol that you have to follow in the happening of a bulb breakage, because that poison gas that may be released. If the bulbs are broken indoors, they release 20 times the maximum agreeable concentration of mercury into the air, confirmed one study provided by the researchers that came from the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute for the Federal Environment Agency of German.
The energy saving light bulbs can cause:
- Cluster headaches
- Inability to concentrate
Reasons to go back to the incandescent bulbs
- The energy saving bulbs have mercury, which is a powerful neurotoxin that is more dangerous to pregnant women and children. It is very toxic to the nervous system, brain, kidneys and liver. Also, it can damage the immune, reproductive and cardiovascular systems. It can lead to anxiety, memory loss, tremors, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, headaches and cancer.
- These bulbs are able to cause cancer. According to one new study provided at the Berlin Germany’s Alab Laboratory by Peter Brain, these light bulbs can contain toxic carcinogens that can cause cancer:
- Phenol, which is a mildly acidic poison white crystalline solid, used in chemical manufacture and retrieved from coal tar.
- Naphthalene, which is a volatile white crystalline element, used in mothballs, made by the distillation of coal tar, and used like a raw material for the chemical manufacture.
- The energy saving light bulbs can emit UV rays. These light bulbs can emit UV-B and also traces of UV-C radiation. Usually it is recognized that the UV-radiation is very harmful for the eyes and the skin. The radiation from them attacks the immune system directly, and also damages the tissues of the skin so much, that prevents the right formation of vitamin D-3.
So, despite the cost and energy savings, these light lamps pose dangerous health risks and maybe you want to use again the normal incandescent bulbs. But, be very careful. If one happens to break, the Environmental Protection Agency has made a detailed protocol of how to deal with the cancer-causing chemicals and mercury. Read it here:
The Official Environmental Protection Agency Broken Bulb Procedure for Cleaning
According to the United States EPA, these emergency processes should be followed if some bulbs breaks, because it can release a poison gas.
Before the Cleanup
- Have pets and people leave the room.
- Air out that room for 5 to 10 minutes by opening a door or windows to the outdoor environment.
- Shut off your central forced air-conditioning or air heating system.
Collect the stuffs needed for the cleaning of the broken bulb:
- Sticky tape
- Cardboard or stiff paper
- A sealable plastic bag or a glass jar with a lid
- Disposable wet wipes or damp paper towels for hard surfaces
During the Cleanup
- DON’T VACUUM – the vacuuming isn’t advised unless the broken glass stays after all other steps have been taken. The process of vacuuming can spread the mercury vapor or the mercury containing powder.
- Be thorough in the collecting visible powder and broken glass. Scoop up the glass parts and powder with a cardboard or stiff paper. Use sticky tape, like a duct tape, in order to pick up the remaining small glass parts and powder. Place the used tape in the plastic bag or the glass jar.
- Place the cleanup stuffs in a sealable container.
After the cleanup
- Rapidly place the bulb cleanup materials and debris, including the bags from the vacuum cleaner, outdoors in a protected area or in a trash container until the stuffs can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any cleanup materials or bulb fragments indoors.
- Check with the local government about the disposal requirements in your place, because some localities ask the fluorescent bulbs (unbroken or broken) be taken to the local center for recycling. You can dispose the things with your household trash if there is no requirement for that in your area.
- At the end, you should continue to air out your room and leave the air conditioning or heating system shut off for a few hours.
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