3 CFL Bulb Dangers 3 CFL Bulb Dangers

The compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb was touted as the answer to solving our energy problems in the area of lighting, and as a superior bulb to an incandescent bulb. Consumers were encouraged to get rid of their dinosaur bulbs in favor of the new technology that would save their homes from costly electric bills, and it was pitched as an environment friendly product. Studies, lawsuits and stories from individuals who have financially or health wise suffered from using these bulbs have proven otherwise. Here are three CFL bulb dangers that should make you think twice about buying them for your home:

Danger 1 - Mercury Content

Each CFL bulb contains 3 to 5 milligrams of mercury, and if the bulb breaks, your home will be contaminated. Mercury is so toxic, that homeowners who have had a bulb break in their home have often had to contact the Department of Environmental Agency or the Poison Control Center in their state, who in turn refer the homeowner to a specialist who may charge up to several thousand dollars to clean it up. When the bulb breaks, mercury vapor and powder are released into the air, and you get to inhale it. Mercury has been proven to be one of the root causes of many immune disorders and neurological problems. The health and financial risks of a cleanup have caused many to wonder if using a CFL bulb makes sense.

Danger 2 - Difficult to Get Rid Of

You can't just through a CFL bulb into the trash, and you can't recycle them in a regular recycle bin. You have to contact a collection site, which are public or private entities that collect CFL bulbs. The problem is that you run the risk of the bulb breaking until you can get to a site. You don't have that risk with other energy efficient bulbs, such as LED bulbs which do not contain any mercury. Then, there are your neighbors who may not be so inclined to go through the inconvenience of traveling to a collection site. There's a risk that they will through a bulb into the garbage, which might break during a regular garbage pickup.

Danger 3 - Toxin is Released into the Air

Even if you're able to take your CFL bulb to a collection site, they cannot recycle the component of the bulb that contains the mercury. There's nowhere for the mercury to go, but into the air and the soil. If you're primarily concerned with air pollution, it's worth considering the danger posed by CFL bulbs that are discarded. While the effects of the mercury released into the air is not yet known, the damaging effects of mercury on the health of children and adults are known.

The CFL bulb dangers should be enough to make you seek out other alternatives. LED bulbs are not as bright and they don't produce a white light like CFL bulbs, but it’s adequate in many cases. You also won't have to worry about the dangers posed to your health.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!