Most people have replaced their old-fashioned light bulbs with eco-friendly energy-saving ones. In short, energy-saving light bulbs have become increasingly popular in the past few years.
However, researchers have found that these light bulbs can have negative effects on human health. Specifically, they have concluded that in case an energy-saving light bulb is broken indoors, it can emit 20 times the maximum allowed concentration of mercury in the air.
Moreover, it was proven by the researchers at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute. They carried out a study for the needs of the German’s Federal Environment Agency.
As a result of this, the US Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency protocol about the energy-saving bulb use. It is focused on cases of breakage since the bulbs emit toxic gas when broken.
This Type of Light Bulbs Can Contribute to:
- Poor concentration
- Cluster headaches
These Light Bulbs Possess Mercury
In fact, mercury is extremely dangerous neurotoxin, which can have devastating effects on pregnant women and children. Additionally, it can have a negative impact on the nervous system, brain, kidneys, and liver.
That’s not all, this neurotoxin can also have a detrimental impact on the reproductive, immune and cardiovascular system. In addition, excessive exposure to this neurotoxin can result in headaches, insomnia, anxiety, memory loss, tremors, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.
They Release UV Rays
Energy-saving light bulbs release UV-B as well as UV-C radiation. It is a well-known fact that UV rays have harmful effects on the skin. They may also lead to cancer development.
Furthermore, UV rays can also negatively affect your vision, and immune system. They can result in skin damage, so that it interferes with the normal vitamin D3 production.
These Light Bulbs Can Lead to Cancer Development
Peter Braun at Germany’s Alab Laboratory in Berlin carried out a study examining the effects of energy-saving light bulbs on health. The results showed that they possess some carcinogens, including:
– Styrene: It is actually an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon and a byproduct of petroleum.
– Naphthalene: It is a white, volatile, crystalline compound made from coal tar distillation. This compound is usually used in mothballs. It is also used as a raw material in chemical manufacture.
– Phenol: It is a toxic white crystalline solid made from coal tar. Also, it is usually used in chemical manufacture.
As mentioned above, if you break an energy-saving light bulb, it can put your health at risk. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that everyone should follow their detailed protocol, which includes details about the mercury and the other harmful toxins and carcinogens.
Here Is the Official EPA Broken Energy-Saving Light Bulb Clean-Up Protocol:
It is actually an emergency protocol that can help you deal with the poison gas in case you break one of these light bulbs.
If you break one of these light bulbs, you should ask everyone to leave the room.
Next, you should open a door or window to get some fresh air in.
Then, you should turn off the central air heating or conditioning system.
You should use these items to clean the pieces more effectively:
- Sticky tape
- Disposable wet wipes or damp paper towels (for hard surfaces only)
- Cardboard or stiff paper
- Sealable plastic bag or a glass jar with a lid
You should NOT vacuum. You can vacuum only in case there are glass bits on the floor after the thorough cleanup. Keep in mind that vacuuming can spread mercury vapors or mercury-possessing powder even more.
So, it is advisable to use the stiff paper in order to scoop up glass pieces. You can scoop up even the tiniest bits and powder by using the sticky tape. Afterwards, you should discard the used tape in the bag or jar. Then, you should dispose the trash in a sealable container.
In case you need more information about the cleanup procedure of rugs, carpets, or hard surfaces, just check the detailed cleanup protocol.
It is recommended to discard the cleanup trash outdoors in a trash container or protected area until the trash is disposed of. Make sure you don’t leave any pieces of the broken bulb indoors. Ask your local government for details about disposal requirements in your town.
It is good to know that some local governments require that fluorescent bulbs are disposed in a recycling center, no matter if they are unbroken or broken. In case your local government does not require so, you should dispose it in your household trash.
Finally, just leave the heating system off as well as the windows open for several more hours.