Thursday, December 23, 2010

Important Health Warning: Eco-bulbs (CFL) Are A Health Hazard For Babies And Pregnant Women Due To MERCURY Inside!

I have put up several articles over the last year warning about how dangerous these new Compact Fluorescent Light  (CFL) Bulbs truly are.   The simple fact is that these contraptions contain Mercury, and disposing of them once they are broken, or burned out, is extremely difficult.

The fact is, readers, in the criminal rush for "eco-friendly" and more energy efficient light bulbs, the manufacturers of these devices has never fully informed consumers of what would happen if they accidentally broke one of these bulbs!   Here is a very disturbing fact:  If you ever break one of these bulbs in the confines of your own home, you may have to alert an Environmental cleanup crew immediately, because the mercury vapour that is released from a broken CFL is DEADLY to human health, and does not disperse readily!

If you want even further proof of the dangers of these CFL bulbs, here is an important article from the Mail Online news service out of the United Kingdom, at, entitled: "Eco-bulbs a Health Hazard for babies and pregnant women due to Mercury inside".  It is important reading, and I have that entire article right here for my own readers to view:

Eco-bulbs 'a health hazard for babies and pregnant women due to mercury inside'

Last updated at 10:26 AM on 23rd December 2010

Energy-saving light bulbs were at the centre of a fresh health scare last night after researchers claimed they can release potentially harmful amounts of mercury if broken.

Levels of toxic vapour around smashed eco-bulbs were up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area, the study said.
It added that broken bulbs posed a potential health risk to pregnant women, babies and small children.
From a normal light bulb to the energy saving model. There are fears that broken eco-bulbs pose a health risk
From a normal light bulb to the energy saving model. There are fears that broken eco-bulbs pose a health risk

The concerns surround ‘compact fluorescent lamps’ (CFLs), the most common type of eco-bulb in Britain, which are mini-versions of the strip lights found in offices.

The European Union is phasing out the traditional ‘incandescent bulbs’ used for more than 120 years and is forcing people to switch to low-energy alternatives to meet its climate change targets.

A CFL uses a fifth of the energy of a conventional bulb and can save £7 a year in bills. However, critics complain that CFLs’ light is harsh and flickery. Medical charities say they can trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes and have called for an ‘opt out’ for vulnerable people.
Incandescent bulbs do not contain mercury, along with other variants of energy-saving lights, such as LEDs and halogen bulbs. The study, for Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, tested a ‘worst case’ scenario using two CFLs, one containing 2 milligrams of mercury and the other 5 milligrams. Neither lamp had a protective casing and both were broken when hot.

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute found that they released around 7 micrograms (there are 1,000 micrograms in a milligram) per cubic metre of air.The official guideline limit is 0.35 micrograms per cubic metre.

Federal Environment Agency president Jochen Flasbarth said: ‘The presence of mercury is the downside to energy-saving lamps. We need a lamp technology that can prevent mercury pollution soon.

‘The positive and necessary energy savings of up to 80 per cent as compared with light bulbs must go hand in hand with a safe product that poses no risks to health.’

During tests the German government agency’s researchers were alarmed to discover that some bulbs had no protective cover and broke when hot.

High levels of mercury were measured at floor level up to five hours after the bulbs failed.
Bulb graphic

A spokesman for the agency said: ‘Children and expectant mothers should keep away from burst energy-saving lamps.

‘For children’s rooms and other areas at higher risk of lamp breakage, we recommend the use of energy-saving lamps that are protected against breakage.’ However, the UK Government insisted the CFL bulbs were safe – and that the risk from a one-off exposure was minimal.

The Health Protection Agency says a broken CFL is unlikely to cause health problems. However, it advises people to ventilate a room where a light has smashed and evacuate it for 15 minutes. 

Householders are also advised to wear protective gloves while wiping the area of the break with a damp cloth and picking up fragments of glass. The cloth and glass should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed.

CFLs are not supposed to be put in the dustbin, whether broken or intact, but taken as hazardous waste to a recycling centre.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: 'Guidance from the Health Protection Agency makes it clear that the mercury contained in low energy bulbs does not pose a health risk to anyone immediately exposed, should one be broken.'

Friends of the Earth said the switch to low-energy bulbs would reduce exposure to mercury from coal-fired power stations.

NTS Notes:  Again, I question the ethics of the rush to replace tried and true incandescent light bulbs with these contraptions that contain deadly and poisonous Mercury!

Right now, incandescent light bulbs are being phased out of existence, and we will shortly be stuck with these devices that not only contain dangerous Mercury, but in some cases the light from these contraptions causes headaches, nausea, and other neurological disorders in people. 

Consumers must be given proper information about these bulbs, their dangerous contents, their known side effects and their proper handling and disposal...However,  I am amazed that there is very little of this information reaching the general public!

Yes, it is important to do our part in protecting, and cleaning up our environment.  However, by introducing dangerous and even deadly Mercury into the mix, these CFL bulbs are absolutely not part of any "protecting the environment" solution by a long shot.  

Lets get this truth about these devices out to everyone... The push for replacement of tried and true and proven nontoxic incandescent bulbs by these CFL bulbs must be re-evaluated!

More to come



Stereo Microscopes said...

Thanks for sharing information. Nice Blog.

Electrical Continuing Education said...

I've been reading a lot of issues about CFLs and the danger it may bring. I don't know if I already need to change my bulbs at home. All of my bulbs are CFLs. My contractor who took his Contractor CE said that LED is much better to use.