CFL Light Bulbs and Mercury in Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts
Daytona Beach & Port Orange Real Estate & Information Blog. By Lisa C. Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"

photography lightsAs a REALTOR®, I feel that it's a large part of my job, to look out for, and educate my clients, and potential clients about anything relating to their homes, or any real estate they may be buying or selling. In light of this sense of duty, I felt an obligation to share what I know about the new CFL light bulbs that are supposed to be more environmentally friendly than the ones we've been using for our entire lives (pretty much).

I don't know if everyone is aware of the fact that the new CFL light bulbs contain mercury. I've known this for a while, but it seems like the EPA and the government pushing the new CFL light bulbs on us, are deliberately not stating all the facts.

I guess the question that remains, once you've discovered that outdoor lampsthere is mercury is this supposedly eco-friendly bulb is, are you OK with that? Have you asked yourself the important questions, such as, what happens when one breaks in your home? Here are a few facts about the cleanup process...

  • All pets and humans should immediately leave the room.
  • Central heat and air units should be turned off immediately.
  • No one should re-enter the room for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Glass particles and mercury dust should be scooped up with something solid and place in a glass jar with a metal lid, or sealed bag.
  • Remains should then be taken to a toxic waste dump!
  • Even if the bulb is not broken, do not through it in the trash because it will break in transit to the dump. They must always be taken to a toxic waste dump!

I made the following video on this topic, for my YouTube channel and subscribers. I discuss these points in the video, and I included links to scientific data about these so-called "environmentally friendly" light bulbs. And yes, It's a litle bit long, but I made the video for my YouTube subscribers (and they don't mind), then decided to use it in this blog, rather than the other way around. But you can find plenty of info in a Google search, if you'd like to do your own research. I'm not in any way exaggerating the facts! If anything, I didn't place enough emphasis on the problems.

For all your real estate needs, make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill with Adams Cameron & Co., REALTORS®.

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Katrina Madewell
Charles Rutenberg Rlty- More than 5,000 agents(813) 777-1196 - Tampa, FL
Tampa FL Homes for sale | Tampa Bay - (813) 777-1196
very good point, but your video is over 8 minutes.... you are killig me !! your bullet points were good. Katrina
Jan 19, 2009 04:40 PM #1
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Lisa, As always I LOVE your videos. Did you really just collide your 2 worlds? AR and YouTube of course. All I can say is itneeded to be done. Your videos are way to good to not share with your AR friends. Now about these light bulb thingies. I want light and don;t really care how I get it. I use the old regular 100 watt bulbs too. TLW prefers 40 watts. It's a continuing battle that I will never win.
Jan 19, 2009 10:03 PM #3
Zane Coffin
Century-21 Homestar - Geneva, OH
(Geneva Ohio Real Estate Agent)
Lisa, you have some very good points but like I always say don't believe everything you read on the internet......the GOOD outways the bad in this the lights contain murcury? Yes they do....Is the amount of murcury dangerous to humans and more then likely have a battery laying around your house somewhere that is leaking out more murcury then 50 to 100 of these light bulbs...thats if you can brake the bulb (I dropped one from 5 feet onto a ceramic floor didn't brake and still works) Should you be carefull cleaning it up? Yes.. Should you dispose of it properly? Yes......With anything that contains hazzardous material Yes take precausions.....Just like your bulbs you have to have hazzardous chemicals that are involved to produce both bulbs...only one(1) when put to use is working to save our environment by useing 1/3 the energy .......I love your post even if I don't agree all the time.....In my opinion (fact...;-) your husband was on the right track....peace zane
Jan 20, 2009 12:57 AM #4
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
When I think of Mercury poisoning I think of Jeremy Pivens from the Entourage tv show. I was totally unaware of the possible effects of the mercury in lightbulbs!
Jan 20, 2009 06:51 AM #5
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Bryant- LOL. Sounds like our house. And yes my worlds are colliding, but only from this side. I don't send my YouTube subscribers over here. Some of them are just too weird. I can't afford to give them access to my real last name, my daughter, my cell phone number, etc. But thanks =)

Zane- Do a Google search. I supplied several links on YouTube. Yes, the mercury in these bulbs CAN and WILL harm a person and a pet. I did not use just one site for data. I already knew all of this, but I supplied legitimate links for anyone who had trouble believing this.

Jan 20, 2009 08:59 AM #6
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Lisa I know we should all be looking out for the environment but I have to tell you that I can't stand those energy saving bulbs. The light from them is just terrible!

Jan 20, 2009 11:42 AM #7
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Bill- I agree!

Jan 21, 2009 08:56 AM #8
Midori Miller
Talk 2 Midori, LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Online Marketing For Real Estate Professionals

Hi Lisa-this to me should have been featured...the information you give is priceless!  For some reason I have not bought one of those "ECO FRIENDLY" bulbs yet...I love my 100 watts but I also like 60 for a few places but it concerns me about those warnings on the other bulbs!  Thanks for the great info..and you are one of my favorite youtubers! :)

Jan 21, 2009 09:56 PM #9
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Midori- The biggest problem for me is that the CFL bulbs just aren't as bright as the old ones. I've tried the brightest bulbs, and still can't get enough light, when I have a lamp with a dark shade. And I have several lamps with darker shades. I need brighter lights for the lamps with darker shades =(

Jan 22, 2009 10:19 AM #10
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Good info..very informative. Some forget that old mechanical thermostats have mercury in them as well.

Jan 23, 2009 11:15 AM #11
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

We've been using CFL's for decades and have never broken one yet.  I think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Remember when we were kids and used to play with liquid mercury?  How stupid was that! 

Jan 24, 2009 08:07 AM #12
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Lisa, very interesting info about the light bulbs.  I love to see your are an inspiration.  I've got this flip I've had for months but I just hate to see and hear myself.  I'll have to give it another try.  Yours are great.

Jan 24, 2009 11:37 AM #13
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Gary- I know thermometers and thermostats have mercury in them. But they don't get used that often. I'm less likely to break one of those. In addition, even if they don't break, they still have to go to a toxic waste disposal. We already know that very few people are going to properly dispose of these bulbs.

Georgina- Play with liquid mercury? I don't think I ever did that =/  And unfortunately, we keep our light bulbs in the garage, so I've broken a few. We also have a lot of tile floors. My butter fingers have dropped a few on the tile as well. But even if they're not broken, they still have to go to a toxic waste dump. That scares me.

Ann- I've been on YouTube for about 2 years. I'm closing in on 2000 subscribers, and I'm in the partner program. So if an advertiser wants to place an ad beside, or along the bottom of one of my vids, I make some money. You can't beat that! =)

Jan 24, 2009 04:27 PM #14
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

I always enjoy your videos, especially when you are out and about with your family . I read your comment on Art Kruschka's blog about enjoying chocolate and thought you would enjoy some even more refined chocolate. I am a chocolate junkie of sorts and love what the French have been doing for sometime. I drove my wife crazy when we were in Paris a couple of years back looking at all of the places! Google these names for some incredible confections (they ship too!)


La Maison Du Chocolat

Jean-Paul Hevin

Jan 25, 2009 02:59 AM #15
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Russell- This could be dangerous  o_o

Jan 27, 2009 01:11 PM #16
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Oh...for sure!  Enjoy!

Jan 28, 2009 11:43 AM #17
Not a real person
San Diego, CA
I originally was split on this issue. When CFL's first came out, I determined that the longer life at a higher initial cost was worth it. Then I found out that they contained mercury, so I switched back to incandescents as the CFL's burned out. Truly, though, I think it's about six of one and a half dozen of the other. So now I just buy whatever I need at the time that is on sale.
Jan 30, 2009 08:41 PM #18
Kat Malone
Charlestown, MA

Great post! I don't think many people know about the mercury content in these CFL's. In my Energy and the Environment class last spring semester, my teacher raved about how great and environmentally friendly these bulbs are. So I did some research, found out about the mercury content and brought it to class. Needless to say she had no clue and was surprised to be pushing something so potentially harmful. - Kat

Feb 12, 2009 06:05 AM #19
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