WASHINGTON – Despite a congressional mandate banning the sale of common
incandescent light bulbs by 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
warning that their compact fluorescent replacements are not safe to use
The EPA says breakage of the energy-saving, mercury-containing CFLs can
cause health hazards, especially for children and pregnant women, suggesting use
of the bulbs over carpeted areas should be avoided. If bulbs break over carpeted
areas, the cleanup may require cutting out pieces of the carpet to avoid toxic
For the Maine study, researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test
air quality and cleanup methods. They found that, in many cases, immediately
after the bulb was broken – and sometimes even after a cleanup was attempted –
levels of mercury vapor exceeded federal guidelines for chronic exposure by as
much as 100 times.
In a new Maine study, mercury vapor released by the bulbs exceeded even
those higher levels.
Soon-to-be released results of tests conducted by the state of Maine
confirm earlier states' findings suggesting that under certain conditions
mercury vapor released from broken CFLs can pose a health risk. As a precaution,
states such as Vermont are now suggesting removal of carpeting where breakage
has occurred when there are infants and pregnant women present. Other states
such as Massachusetts are likely to recommend that CFLs not be placed in
fixtures subject to breakage in areas frequented by sensitive populations.
Problem: Does anyone believe that the average person will be careful? I observe average people every day and find that they aren't, that they're in denial, that they delusionally believe that they're safe, that nothing bad will happen. They, even when they actually are
informed about dangers and necessary precautions, simply don't care and will do whatever's most convenient, putting themselves and others at risk.
Please be careful! That's full of mercury! Think of the kittens!