Sunday, June 1, 2008

Warning about CFL Light bulbs

Parents and others should read the Maine Compact Fluorescent Lamp Breakage Study Report. It's from the State of Maine; their waste management bureau did extensive tests on breakage of compact flourescent lightbulbs. They still recommend using the bulbs, although after reading the warnings, I don't understand why.

After cleaning up a broken bulb, tests show "all types of flooring surfaces tested can retain mercury sources even when visibly clean."

Never vacuum up pieces of a broken CFL bulb. "Vacuuming tends to mix the air within the room such that the one foot and five foot heights are similar immediately after vacuuming. A vacuum can become contaminated by mercury such that it cannot be easily decontaminated."

Mercury is dangerous. So what do you put a broken CFL in? Turns out that plastic bags won't do; use a glass jar.

Read Maine Compact Fluorescent Lamp Breakage Study Report and its attachments for details.