While we are paying immense bills for everything, it would be better to try to save both energy and money, for everybody’s sake. This is why some have replaced old-fashioned light bulbs with eco-friendly energy saving ones.
A lot of people believe that these bulbs are the best, however, some experts claim that these are bad news. These bulbs made the US Environmental Protection Agency come up with an emergency protocol regarding the use of energy saving bulbs. This protocol is focused on cases of breakage because bulbs release toxic gas.
Thus, if you break one of these bulbs inside, the bulb will release 20 times the maximum allowed mercury concentration in the air. This was even 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 a lot of Ailments
These bulbs might cause:
- Poor concentration
- Cluster headaches
Due to the fact that these bulbs can cause a migraine, cancer, anxiety, you need to definitely switch to the old bulbs.
1. Energy-Saving Bulbs are Packed with Mercury
This is a very harmful and dangerous neurotoxin which can have a very harmful effect on children and pregnant women. The mercury will affect the brain, nervous system, liver, and kidneys. It will also have a terrible effect on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive system. If you are very exposed to it, it can cause insomnia, anxiety, tremors, memory loss, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
2. Energy-Saving Bulbs Can Cause Cancer
There has been a study which has proven that these bulbs have the following carcinogens:
Phenol, which is a mildly toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar. The phenol is mostly used in chemical manufacture.
Another one is naphthalene, which is a volatile white crystalline compound obtained through the distillation of coal tar. It is used in mothballs the most. Producers also used it as a raw material in chemical manufacture.
The last one is styrene, which is an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon. It is a petroleum byproduct.
3. Energy-Saving Bulbs Emit UV Rays
These bulbs also emit UV-B and traces of UV-C radiation. UV rays are very harmful to the skin and they can trigger cancer. They are also harmful to the vision as well. UV radiation will attack the immune system, and damage the skin so much that it will prevent the production of vitamin D3.
It is obvious that the cheap price is not important because these lights are a very serious risk for our health.
The worst thing that it can happen to one house is to break one of these. If this does happen, you will be required to follow a detailed protocol that involves details about the mercury and other carcinogens, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Official EPA Broken Bulb Clean-Up Procedure
Follow this protocol so that you can deal with the poison gas efficiently.
1. Before Cleanup
- Everyone needs to leave the room.
- Then, you need to open a window or door so that some fresh air can get inside.
- Turn off the central air heating/condition system.
Clean the pieces with these items:
- Sticky tape
- Stiff paper/Cardboard
- Damp paper towels/Disposable wet wipes (use for hard surfaces only)
- A glass jar with a lid/Sealable plastic bag
2. During Cleanup
You should never vacuum! You need to vacuum only if there are glass bits after the cleanup. The vacuuming will only spread the mercury powder or vapors even more.
What you can do instead is use the stiff paper to scoop up glass pieces. The sticky tape will help you get the tiniest bits and powder. Throw away the used tape in the jar or bag. Then, check the detailed cleanup plan to see if you need to do anything else with the surfaces, carpets or rugs. Finally, throw the clean up trash in a sealable container.
3. After Cleanup
You need to discard the waste outside in a trash container or a protected area until the waste is disposed of. Do not leave the bulb pieces inside. Ask from your government to give you some details on how to dispose of this in your town. Bear in mind that some localities want the fluorescent bulbs to be disposed in a recycling center, regardless if they are broken or not. If there are no places like this, you should throw the waste in the household trash.
Finally, leave the window open and the conditioning or heating system off for a few more hours, just to be sure.
As you can see, these light bulbs are not very good. Therefore, if you do use them, now you know how you can get clean them up in case of emergency. However, our advice would be to not use them at all. Just go with the old-fashioned ones instead.