By Joseph Inyang,July 2011.
True or False or Gray?
There is a warning going around “WARNING TO ALL ON ENERGY SAVING BULBS…” The pictures are quite graphic. As proponents of energy savings, we have been getting emails and calls asking if this is true. This is a reply to all those calls.
We would like to say first that NOT ALL energy saving bulbs have mercury (the dangerous substance) in them, only compact florescent energy lights (CFLs) have mercury. LED (light emitting diodes) has NO mercury in them. So the title of the warning is FALSE.
Secondly, ALL standard florescent tubes including the round tubes, in offices and homes contain mercury. Most CFLs contain 3–5 mg per bulb, with the eco-friendly bulbs containing as little as 1 mg. On the other hand, most 4 foot T8 florescent contain 11.6gm, HID lamps contain 90mg. Low-mercury or “green” fluorescent lamp 4 foot T8 has 3.5mg. Therefore the mercury dangers are the same as or more for fluorescent. And we have been living and working with florescent tubes for a long time.
So what is our advice? If you want to eliminate mercury risk in lighting, replace all standard, CFL and HID lamps with LED if you want to save energy. To minimize the risk you have been living with, follow the cleaning recommendation given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) see below.
If a fluorescent lamp is broken, compact or standard, a very small amount of mercury can contaminate the surrounding environment. About 99% of the mercury is typically contained in the phosphor, especially on lamps that are near the end of their life. The broken glass is usually considered a greater hazard than the small amount of spilled mercury. The EPA recommends airing out the location of a fluorescent tube break and using wet paper towels to help pick up the broken glass and fine particles. Any glass and used towels should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag. Vacuum cleaners can cause the particles to become airborne, and should not be used.
If you still have any questions call or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, +234 709 626 3271.