Fluorescent Lighting Hazards - Why LED Lamps Will Be The Excellent Choice
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) and more standard fluorescent lamps are now being aggressively marketed as eco-friendly due to their decreased electricity usage. Indeed, widespread replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs will bring down electricity demand; however, there are issues of safety that ultimately promote to making LED lighting the excellent choice. Understanding fluorescent lighting hazards can help ensure that fluorescent light bulbs are being used and discarded safely while showing why LED lighting is the most secure and most eco-friendly lighting choice in the long run.
One of the commonly cited fluorescent lighting risk is mercury. Fluorescent as well as CFL bulbs hold a small amount of mercury and are also identified with the basic symbol Hg. When these bulbs are cool, some of the mercury within the lamp is in liquid form, but while the lamp is operating or when the lamp is warm, most of the mercury is in a gaseous or mist form.
Mercury steam is really harmful. Even in liquid form, contact with mercury is regarded life-threatening or a "severe" threat to health. Even little doses of mercury could cause severe respiratory system damage, mind damage, renal damage, central nervous system damage, and many other serious medical conditions.
Disposed off improperly, mercury can infect establishments, landfills, lakes, pets, fish, birds, humans, vegetation and rivers. In the US, the EPA has required waste handlers to treat fluorescent lamps as hazardous waste. Up to 95 percent of the mercury found in CFLs can be extracted if the bulbs are recycled properly.
Mercury-containing lamps generated by houses and companies are not always determined by legal limitations, regarding their disposal. State laws deviate and some states, just like California, Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont and Massachusetts, prohibit all mercury-containing lights, including CFLs, from being discarded in the solid waste stream.
Because mercury will be released if a fluorescent lamp is broken, it is important to set up fixtures in locations the lamps are not likely to be broken. Fixtures in areas close to the ground or in locations with moving machine should use metal or plastic shields to cover the lamp from being shattered. If a fluorescent lamp cracks, there are numerous safety and cleanup problems which we will discuss in a more thorough way in the following page.
Fluorescent lamps create several hazards if shattered. Determined by the type, there is a partial vacuum or the lamp may be under pressure. Shattering the glass could cause shrapnel injuries, along with the release of mercury and other unhealthy compounds.
The greatest immediate injury danger from a shattered lamp is from the phosphor-coated glass. If cut with fluorescent lamp glass, almost any phosphor that enters the wound is likely to hinder blood clotting but will interfere with curing. Such accidents should be treated seriously and immediate medical assistance should be obtained for people or house animals that are cut. Medical personnel must be notified that the wounds were caused by a damaged fluorescent lamp, and that mercury came to be present.
To reduce exposure to mercury steam, EPA and other specialists advise a few measures. Children and pets should stay away from the area, and windows ought to be opened for at least 15 minutes to ensure that vapors may disperse. Cleanup can be done by hand using limited use materials. Use rubber throw away gloves and scoop up the materials using stiff paper or cardboard. Use sticky tape to pick up small fragments and powder, wipe the area with a damp paper towel, and wipe out the materials in an outside trash can. Never use a vacuum because this will only scatter the mercury mist and leave particles trapped inside the cleaner bag.