Did you play with Mercury in Grade School? by the Central Kentucky Home Inspector

By
Home Inspector with B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)

I finally figured out what happened to me in grade school.  It was the mercury, in the broken thermometers, that we played with.

Remember those little silver balls that would roll around, break apart and come back together.  Roll them from hand to hand.  Everybody thought it was pretty cool stuff back then.  Did the teacher give it to us or did we break the thermometers on our own.  Heck, I don't remember.  I just remember how cool it was to play with the little balls of mercury.

While surfing around today, I ran into this article about a lady who had chosen to seal off her daughter's bedroom while she tries to come up with the $2000.00 an environmental company wants to charge her for cleaning up the remnants of a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)  that broke in the room.

Though the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Snopes.com (Urban Legend Reference Website)  now say that was a serious over reaction and overkill.

I didn't even know that CFLs contained mercury.  Now, I find we need to recycle them as hazardous waste.  Are CFLs worth all the hassle.  It seems we don't have a choice.  Congress passed an energy bill, on December 18th, 2007, that calls for regular tungsten filament light bulbs to be banned by the year 2014.

I hope that Georgetown, Kentucky soon develops a hazardous waste recylcing center for the bulbs as this ole Home Inspector has already changed all the bulbs in the house to CFLs and those few that stopped working have been put in the regular trash.

And if you didn't click on the links above to see how to clean one up when it breaks, here's a short summary of

What the Environmental Protection Agency says you should do when a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) breaks:

The following steps can be performed by the general public:

1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.

2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.

  • Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
  • Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.

  • Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
  • Note: some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.
  • Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:

  • First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
  • If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.

Dang, I guess popping those long fluorescent bulbs in the trash can is a no-no too now!  Guess I should have popped them and ran from the dust cloud it created.  But no, I'd just fling another one.  Oh well, I've survived this long.  Guess I'll go a few more years!

 

Erby Crofutt, Central Kentucky Home Inspector (B4U Close Home Inspections & Radon Testing): Inspector in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

 

Posted by

=====================================================

 

Erby Crofutt
KY Lic# HI-2041
B4 U Close Home Inspections & Radon Testing
Georgetown, KY
www.b4uclose.com
502-570-4054
859-797-3873
877-513-8235

 

B B 4 U Close Home Inspections serves Central, Northern & Eastern Kentucky real estate buyers & sellers

with Kentucky Licensed Home Inspections & Certified Kentucky Radon Testing
A
ppointments available 7 days a week -  7 AM to 9 PM. 
Phones answered during same period.
 

Call NOW for your B4 U Close Home Inspection appointment!!

Why should you hire Erby to inspect your home?  See what past clients have to say!!

Here's what a couple of B4 U Close clients say: (Clicki the line above to see others)

I think the current owners are a little angry about the thorough inspection you did. They didn't have one done and it cost them $18K.  I, my loan officer and my agent think a home inspection is well worth what I paid.

Nathan, Morehead, KY Inspection  (20101012B)

Thank You for the outstanding job you did on the inspection.  We bought and sold 9 houses and this was the only inspection that was ever done properly.  It was helpful and we will use it to do the repairs with a system, instead of the guess work we usually do.  Thanks again

Mike & Barbara, Stamping Ground, KY Inspection (20050603

See a B 4 U Close Home Inspection sample report by clicking the report picture below



close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
Kentucky Jessamine County Nicholasville
Groups:
Property Inspection Discussion
Tags:
home
inspection
kentucky
georgetown
lexington
mercury
inspector
inspectors
winchester
cfl
nicholasville

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Debbie:  It ain't all that dangerous if you just treat em right.

Charles:  Didn't you get a kick out of the pop they made when you managed to hit one.

Jan 06, 2008 11:02 AM #9
Rainer
132,027
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN

Hey Erby,

My Bad!  I was watching the ballgames at the same time!

Jan 06, 2008 01:10 PM #10
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
Scott:  Did your team win!  I often do the same thing.  Commercial breaks and in between plays are a good time to do message boards.
Jan 06, 2008 01:23 PM #11
Rainmaker
106,989
M A
Boston, MA

Erby,

Days gone by... I still remember my dad putting those long bulbs in the incinerator in the basement and burning them.  (I did the mercury thing too!!!  Amazing we survived!!!)

Jan 06, 2008 10:52 PM #12
Rainer
85,510
Lance Winslow
The Car Wash Guy - Malibu, CA
This is a super huge issue, and I am glad you bring this up, the pubic needs to be thinking here, its very important. Lance
Jan 07, 2008 02:45 PM #13
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Martin:  But we did!

Lance:  You're welcome.

 

 

Jan 07, 2008 10:00 PM #14
Ambassador
602,600
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes
Erby, It's just one more thing to worry about! Thanks for the reminder! I might put this post in next week's newsletter with your permission.(Hopefully, I won't forget!)I just put a sticky note on my computer!
Jan 10, 2008 11:08 AM #15
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Lizette:   Go ahead.  Just got your latest newsletter today.  Hope the new format is working out for you.

 

-

Jan 10, 2008 12:47 PM #16
Ambassador
602,600
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes
Thanks! I think the latest issue worked a bit better than last weeks. Maybe I am getting used to all it's quirks!
Jan 10, 2008 01:26 PM #17
Ambassador
447,417
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
So Erby, Were we poisoning ourselves? My dad handed me the mercury out of one (or two or three) and allowed me to play with it by dropping it onto a dime. In fact, we carried mercury dimes, right? What was poisoness about it? Hum...I guess ignorance is bliss. :-) Deb
Jan 21, 2008 12:50 PM #18
Rainmaker
298,848
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Erby....I can't believe I'm here laughing at a post on Mercury ....actually it's your sense of humor that is entertaining me :)  thanks, and have a good week.....
Jan 21, 2008 12:54 PM #19
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Debra:  Sure, you're nothing but an ignorant little mercury poisoned Texas flower?  Right!!!  I don't believe it.

Kathy:  Humorous, entertaining, AND educational.  Now how can you beat that?

 

-

Jan 21, 2008 10:49 PM #20
Ambassador
1,508,132
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer
Yikes, we have been in the process to converting to CFBs in the last year.  Believe it or not we are still on the same bulbs from when we moved into this house back in 2002.
Jan 26, 2008 03:48 PM #21
Rainer
1,484
Mark Van Zandt
Falcons Home Inspection - Yorktown, VA
Home Inspect Hampton Roads

While stationed in the Navy at Pearl Harbor I was involved with the local kids getting into an old building with bottles of mercury. They took some home and over a weekend played with it with their parents who in turn took some to work on Monday to show around. One report was a child ate some on a potato chip. I guess he thought he was Superman.  The military and local HAZMAT teams cordoned off the apartments, tore up the carpeting, etc.  

 

Jan 28, 2008 06:10 AM #22
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Renee.  Just be careful of how you get rid of them and how you clean them up when they break.

Mark.  Around here they shut schools down and evacuate the building when a little thermometer breaks.  Perhaps that's just a bit of over-reaction.  I mean, I know it's a hazard, but geeze, the whole school!

 

-

Feb 02, 2008 11:44 PM #23
Ambassador
2,109,511
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

So, that is what is wrong with me! Playing with mercury, never would have thought about it, but I played with it from time to time. Now, I have other things to worry about, oh goody. Next they are going to tell me my hamburger and deep fried onion rings are bad for me too....What? They are... What the... Man life sucks now!

Feb 22, 2008 04:35 PM #24
Rainer
17,097
Michael Reel
Integrity Home Inspections LLC - Parkersburg, WV

Erby, Man! what a great post. Thank you for taking so much time to bring this to light. It was well worth the investment of your time for the rest of us.

Blessings,

Feb 23, 2008 12:18 AM #25
Rainer
51,429
David Holden
DRH Home Inspection Akron, Ohio Summit County Home Inspector - Akron, OH
DRH Home Inspection Akron, Ohio Summit
Erby,  I'm knew to this Active Rain thing and I am just exploring my way around right now, but I also remember playing with mercury and bustin bulds and then trying to wave the dust (mercury) cloud away while smashing another one.  I hadn't thought about those times 35 years ago until I began reading your post.  I must say, I haven't chuckled this much in a while as I read thru your post and comments.  I look forward to reading more of your humor.  Dave
Feb 23, 2008 08:16 AM #26
Rainmaker
207,765
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Todd:  Yup, that's what's wrong with you.  That and riding in the back of pickups.

Michael:  You're welcome.

David:  Welcome to Active Rain.  Enjoy it  It's a great place to learn.

 

Mar 10, 2008 01:31 AM #27
Anonymous
heather

oh thank goodness! i just broke a mercury thermometer today and just about had a panic attack when i googled and came up with the epa's website. i thought my son and i were going to die for sure! if you guys played with the stuff and are still alive then i guess i won't move out and burn my house down. i'm still a panicker though and  supposedly the stuff shatters into a million microscopic pieces so i really want to throw everything away that was in the room where it broke, which would be my entire closet of clothing and shoes.  ugh.

Feb 19, 2010 09:55 AM #28
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
207,765

Erby Crofutt

The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information