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CFL bulbs -- Are Mercury levels Dangerous?Views: 269
Nov 11, 2009 10:41 pmCFL bulbs -- Are Mercury levels Dangerous?#

Ron Sam
In response to Thomas's concerns of CFL lamps being dangerous...

A CFL containing 5 mg of mercury breaks in your child’s bedroom that has a volume of about 25 m3 (which corresponds to a medium sized bedroom). The entire 5 mg of mercury vaporizes immediately (an unlikely occurrence), resulting in an airborne mercury concentration in this room of 0.2 mg/m3. This concentration will decrease with time, as air in the room leaves and is replaced by air from outside or from a different room. As a result, concentrations of mercury in the room will likely approach zero after about an hour or so.


Also download this pdf from the EPA:

Private Reply to Ron Sam

Nov 11, 2009 11:03 pmre: CFL bulbs -- Are Mercury levels Dangerous?#

Thomas Holford
From the EPA fact sheet:

> What are the Health Risks of Mercury. . .

> . . . However, every product containing mercury should be handled with care. Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, can affect our brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver, causing symptoms such as trembling hands, memory loss, and difficulty moving.

> Always Dispose of Your CFL Properly

> Safe cleanup precautions:

> If a CFL breaks in your home, open nearby windows to disperse any vapor that may escape, carefully sweep up the fragments (do not use your hands) and wipe the area with a disposable paper towel to remove all glass fragments. Do not use a vacuum. Place all fragments in a sealed plastic bag and follow disposal instructions above.

I guess the good news is that it's not necessary to wear an asbestos suit or use a closed system rebreather for cleaning up ONE broken CFL bulb. They don't specify whether or not you need rip out your carpet and send it a Nevada landfill.

Now, TWO broken CFL bulbs . . .

T. Holford

Private Reply to Thomas Holford

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