People cannot even imagine life without electricity and light. The source of lightening energy is very crucial for our everyday life. The use of lightening bulbs is wide spread which nowadays in order to save energy and money are being replaced by environmental and welcoming energy saving light bulbs.
Even though, they are saving energy these light bulbs are actually harmful for the health, namely the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an emergency guideline that has to be followed when a light bulb breakage occurs because then the poisonous gas is being released. Meaning, when these bulbs broke from inside, they release 20 times the maximum acceptable mercury concentration into the air, stated in a study carried out by scientists from the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute for German’s Federal Environment Agency.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Can Cause:
- Cluster headaches
- Lack of concentration
Moreover, they contain the following substances:
- also they are carcinogenic, and
- emit a lot of UV rays.
Official Clean-Up Procedure of Broken Bulbs
If an energy efficient light bulb becomes broken, and the poisonous gas start to emit then you should follow the following procedure released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- Present people and animals must leave the area.
- Open all windows and doors so that you air out the space for 5 to10 minutes.
- Shut down the existing main forced air heating or air-conditioning system.
Gather materials needed for cleaning up the broken bulb:
- Sticky/duct tape
- Cardboard or stiff paper
- For hard surfaces you will need moist paper towels or disposable wet wipes
- Sealable plastic bag or a glass jar with a metal cover
While cleaning up:
- First of all, DO NOT VACUUM! Immediate vacuuming is not advisable provided that you have only remains of broken glass after the complete clean up steps. Namely, vacuuming will spread out mercury in the air (containing powder or mercury vapor).
- Thoroughly gather broken glass remains and visible powder by scooping them up with stiff paper or cardboard. Utilize sticky tape like duct tape, to pick up any left tiny glass pieces and powder. Put the used tape in a glass jar or plastic bag.
- Put clean-up materials in a sealable container.
After the finished cleanup:
- After you have finished up the cleaning immediately place all bulb debris and clean-up products, including vacuum cleaner bags, outside in a garbage container or secured area till the materials are properly disposed of. Do not leave any bulb fragments or clean-up products inside your home.
- Consult your city government about disposal requirements in your area because certain localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) to be delivered to the local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose all the materials in your household trash.
- However, if possible, continue to air out the facility where the bulb was broken and do not turn on the heating/air conditioning system for a few hours.