Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mercury Levels In CFLs: Not As Dangerous as They Used to Be?

According to recent news, mercury levels in CFLs and fluorescent bulbs are decreasing compared to levels in the past. Does this mean that CFLs and fluorescent bulbs no longer present health and safety dangers associated with mercury content? One simple answer: No.

Regardless of the quantity of mercury present in CFLs and fluorescent bulbs, it is still important for consumers to handle, dispose, transport and recycle them properly. Mercury vapor can be detrimental to consumers’ health—from those involved with handling new bulbs to people involved with storing, packaging and shipping used lamps. Mercury vapor, which can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, can cause neurological damage, and when it gets into water, it can enter the food chain through fish.

While some steps have been taken to encourage safe recycling and disposal of fluorescent lamps, this fact remains: although a variety of containers are marketed for transportation of fluorescent lamps, many don't provide necessary levels of protection against mercury vapor in the occurrence of breakage. Using a proven packaging design with a vapor resistant lining is vital to ensuring the safety of persons who work with or near fluorescent bulbs, as well as for protecting the surrounding environment.

Brad Buscher
Chairman and CEO
VaporLok Products LLC

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