Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Packaging CFLs

A study conducted at the University of Minnesota by a team of researchers found that common cardboard packages for fluorescent lamps do not contain mercury vapor below permissible workplace exposure levels, as defined by state and federal authorities.

The study tested packaging configurations that enhance this single cardboard layer with a plastic bag, as well as packages that add a second layer of cardboard to the design—with the bags positioned between the two cardboard layers. The latter group contained two package varieties: a double-box with a thicker, tape-sealed plastic bag, and a double box with a foil-plastic laminate bag containing a zip closure. Both of these packages performed better than the other configurations. Yet, only the double box with the foil-plastic laminate bag delivered the necessary levels of protection.

This study indicates that all three layers of the last packaging configuration are critical in the effective containment of mercury vapor. The first cardboard layer provides structure to the configuration and protects contents from outside elements. The bag—which should feature a suitable material and tight seal—contains the mercury vapor, and the inner layer of cardboard prevents broken glass from puncturing the bag and rendering it ineffective.

Brad Buscher
Chairman and CEO
VaporLok Products LLC

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