Compact Fluorescent Lamps Information Avon Lake OH
N. Olmsted, OH
N. Olmsted, OH
Compact Fluorescent Lamps Information
Installing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in place of incandescent light bulbs is one of the simplest and least expensive ways homeowners can reduce energy use in their homes. But there's a catch many homeowners may not be aware of - all fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, a toxin that can cause neurological problems in humans, especially children and fetuses. The good news - CFLs are now available with reduced amounts of mercury.
A typical CFL contains about 5 milligrams of mercury - roughly equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen, according to GE. But new low-mercury CFLs from such companies as GE, Philips and Osram Sylvania contain 4 milligrams or less, and some, such as the 16-watt A-Shape bulb from Philips, contain as little as 1.2 milligrams of mercury.
Even better, manufacturers have committed to reducing even further the amount of mercury in CFLs. Osram Sylvania, for instance, says it will reduce mercury in all its CFLs to 2.5 milligrams by the end of 2008, and Lights of America expects all its bulbs to have no more than two milligrams of mercury by the end of 2007, according to Wal-Mart, which is working with manufacturers to reduce the amount of mercury in the CFLs it sells.
Homeowners concerned about mercury should be aware that all CFLs are safe if used properly, and no mercury is released when the bulb is in use. If a bulb breaks, there's no immediate hazard, but don't vacuum it up, as that could disperse the mercury. Instead, sweep up all the glass fragments or use damp paper towel to clean it up. Place the broken pieces and paper towel into a sealed plastic bag.
Finally, all CFLs should be properly recycled. Do not place them in your trashcan or standard recycling, as they can break. Instead, check with your local municipality or waste management company to find out how to properly dispose of the bulbs. Some areas have local recycling programs for CFLs, and some retailers, such as IKEA, will recycle the bulbs for you. For other recycling options, check Earth 911 at http://www.earth911.org or call their toll-free hotline at 800-CLEANUP to find out more about recycling options in your area. Additional information is available at http://www.lamprecycle.org .