Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mercury Vapor: Transitioning from Containment to Capture for Safe Fluorescent Lamp Disposal

The popularity of fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are steadily growing in the industrial, commercial and residential markets, due to their sustainability, energy efficiency and recent federal legislation banning the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs starting in 2012. Fluorescent lamps and CFLs are four to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and emit about the same amount of visible light, all while offering a longer working life and significant savings in energy costs. While there are many positive reasons to employ fluorescent lamps, they can also be potentially dangerous because of their mercury content.

Since exposure to mercury vapor can lead to significant safety and health risks for handlers of fluorescent lamps, it is important to take the necessary precautions when handling, storing or transporting used or broken lamps to protect against any potential harm from released mercury vapor.

Recent efforts to protect consumers and handlers against the inherent dangers of mercury vapor exposure from broken lamps have centered around containing the mercury vapor in the storage and shipping container. However, this traditional method does not protect against vapor exposure if the container is opened or leaks with broken lamps inside. New developments demonstrate a method to actually adsorb and capture the mercury vapor within the container mitigating the risks of vapor exposure.

Read the full white paper here.

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