Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mercury and Fluorescent Lamps

While the amount of mercury used in an individual fluorescent bulb has decreased over the past years, one broken 4-foot fluorescent lamp in a small room or vehicle can release enough mercury vapor to exceed the OSHA mercury exposure 8-hour limit—posing a significant occupational health risk. Plus, mercury vapor can be emitted for weeks after a single bulb is broken.

In their lifetime, fragile fluorescent lamps are handled by manufacturers, transporters, distributors, retailers, consumers and installers, as well as recycling or waste handlers. Although the lamps could break anywhere down this line and expose workers and the environment to hazardous mercury vapors, there are no universally enforced packaging standards designed to protect these people. Currently, only one package design, which includes a vapor resistant and zip seal bag, has proven effective in containing mercury vapor.

Brad Buscher
Chairman and CEO
VaporLok Products LLC

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