In order to save electricity and to lower our bills we replaced the old-fashioned light bulbs with environment friendly energy saving light bulbs. It is believed that these types of bulbs would save us extra money making them home-budget-boosting light bulbs.
Most of us thought that we did the right choice, but unfortunately according to experts this is not the best choice. Namely, the US Environmental Protection Agency released an emergency protocol regarding the use of the energy saving bulbs. The protocol was concentrated in case of breakage since these money-saving bulbs release toxic gas when they are broken.
If such bulb breaks indoors, it will release 20 times the maximum allowed mercury concentration in the air. This statement was confirmed by a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute who conducted a study for the needs of the German’s Federal Environment Agency.
These energy-saving light bulbs can trigger:
- Cluster headaches
- Bad concentration
Unfortunately, these eco-friendly energy saving light bulbs cause migraine, anxiety and cancer. So, the wise choice would be to return to the old-fashioned bulbs.
- Energy-saving light bulbs can cause cancer
According to a carried on study at Berlin Germany’s Alab Laboratory by Peter Braun, it was revealed that these bulbs contain the following dangerous carcinogens:
- Phenol is frequently utilized in chemical production. It is a mildly toxic white crystalline solid procured from coal tar.
- Styrene is a petroleum byproduct. It is an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon.
- Naphthalene is a volatile white crystalline compound acquired through coal tar distillation. Producers utilize it as a raw material in chemical manufacture, and it is commonly used in mothballs.
- Energy-saving light bulbs are rich in mercury
Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that has great damaging effect on children and pregnant women. Mercury severely impacts the liver, kidneys, brain, and the nervous system.
It is highly harmful for the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive system. Too much exposure to mercury causes anxiety, tremors, memory loss, insomnia, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
- Energy-saving light bulbs emit UV rays
These fashionable light bulbs emit UV-B and traces of UV-C radiation. As you all know UV rays are harmful for the skin, and may cause cancer. Likewise, they are harmful for the vision. Further on, UV radiation attacks the immune system, and damages skin to the extent of preventing normal production of vitamin D3.
For all these reasons, we should avoid to buy these fancy bulbs, and return back to the old standard ones as they are safer than these new ones. If by any chance you still have some of these bulbs in your house, you need to be extra careful if a breakage occurs. In this case you should strictly follow the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocol. This protocol provides you with detailed information about the clean-up procedure and information about mercury and the other carcinogens.
The Official EPA Broken Bulb Clean-Up Procedure
Read carefully the emergency protocol when breakage occurs and how to deal with the poison gas more efficiently.
- Prior Cleanup
- The room has to be emptied, no one should stay inside.
- Then, immediately open a window or door so that fresh air enters the room.
- Turn off the central air heating or conditioning system.
You will need the following items so that you clean the remaining pieces more easily:
- Sticky or duct tape
- Stiff paper or cardboard
- Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes, but only those ones used for hard surfaces.
- Sealable plastic bag or a glass jar with a lid.
- While cleanup procedure
First of all, you MUST NEVER vacuum. Vacuuming will only worsen the current situation, namely it will spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapors even more. You can perform this only when you have finished cleanup, and you have some remaining pieces of glass.
Then, utilize the stiff paper or the cardboard to scoop up glass pieces. The duct tape will help you to stick the tiniest bits and powder. Store the used tape in the jar or in the plastic bag. If you require more information regarding the cleanup of hard surfaces, carpets or rugs, check again the detailed cleanup plan.
Place the cleanup trash in a sealable container.
- After cleanup
Place the cleanup waste outdoors in a trash container or secured area till the waste is removed. By all means do not leave the bulb pieces indoors. You should ask your local government if they have disposal requirements regarding this matter.
Bear in mind the fact that some localities require that fluorescent bulbs are disposed in a recycling center, no matter if they are broken or not. If your town does not have any special requirements regarding this waste, then dispose the waste in your household trash.
But, do not close the windows immediately after you have finished the cleanup, leave them open for few more hours and still keep the conditioning or heating system turned off.
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