12 May Tough choice: do we dispose or recycle CFL light bulbs?
Breaking a light bulb and in particular, the modern energy-saving compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) is a normal occurrence – a lamp either breaks or goes to light bulb recycling because it got burnt and thus the need for a solution to recycle light bulbs. To one person, light bulb disposal is as easy as sweeping up the light bulb waste, wiping the floor with a damp cloth and putting the towel as well as fragments of glass into the disposal bin. Well, it will be a different story if the affected party is aware that these CFL lamps contain mercury. It is true that there is some level of mercury in these bulbs, but is it enough to cause cancer and kill you and your family in the long run? Here are some basic facts that will help you to keep calm the next time a CFL shatters in your presence;
CFLs help in containing mercury pollution – it is a fact that CFLs do in fact contain mercury but they have been observed to reduce the cumulative mercury pollution. This happens because the production of lamps in power plants naturally produces mercury as a by-product but the ratio produced when CFLs are manufactured compared to levels involved in the production of other types is significantly low. This simply means that if we all embraced CFLs instead of traditional light bulbs, the next time a bulb breaks in the house is not a life sentence to our environment.
There is nothing one can do to salvage a light bulb when it breaks other than to dispose of it carefully. The average CFL contains 4 to 5 mg of mercury and when you compare to levels contained in other items that use mercury such as office lights and thermometers, these amounts are harmless when disposed of off into the environment or solution to recycle light bulbs.
Mercury vapor evaporates into the environment and keeping areas where a breakage has occurred well ventilated reduces the chances of mercury poisoning. If possible the event of vaporization should be kept from happening because mercury is most poisonous in vapor form. Vacuuming is a good way of containing the spilled mercury as opposed to sweeping and as much as possible avoid handling it with your bare hands.
A CFL bulb may be in use for a long time but it eventually burns out begging a solution to recycle light bulbs. ewaste disposal and particularly light bulb recycling are gaining popularity in an effort to recovery resources throughout the environment. Your local government office will direct you to the nearest recycling collection point if the store from which you bought the lamp does not collect for the purpose of light bulb recycling.