On 26 Apr 2007 08:27:25 -0700, intrepid email@example.com wrote:
Here are the instructions for the safe clean-up and disposal of broken
fluorescent lamps, as provided by the U.S. DOE, NEMA, GE and Clean
"Because there is such a small amount of mercury in CFLs, your
greatest risk if a bulb breaks is getting cut from glass shards.
Research indicates that there is no immediate health risk to you or
your family should a bulb break and its cleaned up properly. You can
minimize any risks by following these proper clean-up and disposal
* Sweep up - dont vacuum - all of the glass fragments and fine
* Place broken pieces in a sealed plastic bag and wipe the area with
a damp paper towel to pick up any stray shards of glass or fine
particles. Put the used towel in the plastic bag as well.
* If weather permits, open windows to allow the room to ventilate.
"Safe cleanup precautions: If a CFL breaks in your home, open nearby
windows to disperse any vapor that may escape, carefully sweep up the
fragments (do not use your hands) and wipe the area with a disposable
paper towel to remove all glass fragments. Do not use a vacuum. Place
all fragments in a sealed plastic bag and follow disposal instructions
"Fluorescent lamps contain mercury. Mercury at atmospheric pressure is
a silver colored liquid that tends to form balls. Mercury is a
hazardous substance. When one lamp is broken, the best thing to do is
to wear chemical resistant glove to clean it up. The gloves can be
vinyl, rubber, PVC, or neoprene. The gloves you buy in the supermarket
for household cleaning are sufficient. The gloves protect your skin
from absorbing mercury and from getting cut by the glass. The remains
of one lamp can be disposed as normal waste since the amount of
mercury is small. However, for future reference, when large quantities
of lamps are being disposed you must follow your state and the federal
regulation for disposing of mercury-containing lamps."
"In the unlikely event your bulb breaks, be certain to sweep up -
don't vacuum - all of the glass fragments and phosphor powder. Place
the broken pieces in a plastic bag and wipe the area with a damp paper
towel to pick up any stray shards of glass or fine particles. Put the
used towel in the plastic bag as well. Like paint, batteries,
thermostats and other hazardous household items, CFLs should be
disposed of properly. Check with your municipal waste management
program for proper disposal. If none exist, place in regular waste
container. It is good practice to always clean up any products
containing mercury with care and common sense."
1. The phosphor in "regular" fluorescents has changed. It was something
really nasty way back when, maybe the 1950's. But at since at least the
1970's they used something else known as halophosphate for the "old tech"
(my words) phosphor.
2. CFLs (with few exceptions that include most dollar store ones) contain
something even different, known as triphosphor, and as I understand it
that was first used in the 1970's with halophosphate being in wide use by
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
The powder is not mercury. The mercury is something else, in quantities
small enough for disposal by homeowners into regular household trash to be
perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. (However, using info from
www.lamprecycle.org is preferred.)
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
And why is that? If the desk lamp is shielded so you're not exposed to the
brightness of the bulb itself, then there shouldn't be a glare problem.
Newer CFLs don't flicker by design so the only thing left is color. Choose
a warm color CFL bulb that matches incandescent if you prefer.
There are some junk CFLs in the market. Buy CFLs that have the "Energy
Star" label to avoid short life, poor color and low output problems. Energy
Star bulbs are tested and guaranteed. Save the packaging and let Energy
Star know if you're not happy with the performance.
All of the CFLs that I installed in a new house 4 years ago are still
burning just fine.
I've put 75 watt equivalents in 60 watt fixtures with no problem. I
think the fixture recommendations are based on how much heat they can
tolerate and normal incandescent bulbs put out more heat than light.
Cfl's put more of the energy into light. You should base replacement
on lumens or light equivalent. Since cfl's take a while longer to
fire up, I think my wife bears through it to get more light. Only had
a couple of cfl's that emitted an annoying spectrum and these ended up
on the front porch. Their light is harsh. Otherwise, I've had no
problems and they have been long life.
Not to bash anyone, but can you say "fluorescent" light?
Dictionary will confirm.
Meanwhile, if you DAGS on, say, cfl you'll get multi-mega-hits.
Just ignore the "Canadial Football League" ones, or exclude such
in "advanced query."
Boosts s/n ratio.
Sure you can, if the bulb will fit. cfls are quite a bit longer than
incandescents, and successively higher wattage bulbs are also successively
That's my only real complaint about the cfls. We have a lot of sconce-type
fixtures here, and even the lower wattage bulbs stick out all over the
place. It's not a nice effect, but I use cfls wherever possible, and have
only had one blow prematurely. That's in a closed fixture, and it didn't
burn out as prematurely as the incandescents that preceeded it.
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