Are CFL’s Completely Safe?

Real Estate Agent with REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE DRE# SA113961000

Are CFL’s Completely Safe?  Hmmn?

I see posts and various articles extolling all the virtues of CFL filled light bulbs. Good for the environment, saves energy, saves money, etc.

I believe all these are good reasons to switch to these types of bulbs. I know I have in my house.

However, if these puppies were COMPLETELY SAFE then warnings like this would be unnecessary …”The Environment Agency's latest advice focuses on the 6 to 8 milligrams of toxic mercury in each bulb.

Users who break a bulb should vacate the room for at least 15 minutes, the new guidelines say. The debris should not be removed with a vacuum cleaner, which could put toxic dust into the air, but with rubber gloves. The broken glass and all residues are to be placed into a sealed plastic bag and taken to a local official recycling site for proper disposal.”

That sounds like at least a little care be used with these cute little bulbs, yes?

Just sayin’

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Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Hi Jon,  CFL is common in Asian countries, but didn't realize need to vacate the room for at least 15 minutes if it break. thanks for sharing. 

May 27, 2011 03:30 PM #1
Vickie Slade
Colorado Landmark, Realtors - Boulder, CO
Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On

Jon, I am not sure when the last time was, that I actually read the warning label on these  light bulbs.  Guess I should start reading labels carefully.  Seems like after we use a particular type of thing for a while we get so comfortable with them that we don't even pay attention any more.  As you've just pointed out, the warning labels include some pretty important info.  I likely would have used a vacuum cleaner to clean up after breaking one of those little buggers.

May 27, 2011 03:31 PM #2
Brian H

Not sure where you're getting your info from but it's not the EPA website concerning cleanup.  Recommendation is to air out room 5 to 10 minutes (as opposed to 15 minimum as you stated),  nothing at all about needing to wear rubber gloves (though probably still a good idea just to help keep your fingers from getting cut).  Also, there's an avg of 4 mg of mercury in a bulb, not the 6-8 stated.  Compare that to older home thermometers that contain 500 mg of mercury and manual thermostats containing 3,000 mgs.

Ironically enough, using cfl's actually helps keep mercury OUT of our air where it's much more dangerous.

Awareness around these issues is a good thing, but accuracy of info is imperative.

Jun 02, 2011 07:42 AM #3
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Jon Quist

Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996
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