Energy-saving lamps are gradually entering our everyday life. For example, large enterprises and organizations have long since put into operation this type of lamps, which are a profitable, from the point of view of cost savings, investment. But it is increasingly possible to observe how energy-saving lamps are used in ordinary typical apartments, for the same reasons. Let’s consider what to do if an energy-saving lamp is broken.

As you know, the production and output of ordinary incandescent lamps is gradually decreasing. The decline in their production began back in 2011, when they began to reduce the production of lamps from 100 W, which continues to this day. It is quite possible that soon such lamps will completely cease to be sold, which will inevitably cause a surge of interest in energy-saving ones.

The energy-saving lamp broke

However, in addition to the obvious advantages of such lamps, there are also unconditional disadvantages that are simply impossible to ignore. The main one is the use of mercury in energy-saving lamps, which can have a harmful effect on human health. By the way, this is possible only if an energy-saving light bulb has broken, and in the process of work, mercury does not affect a person in any way.

Why is it dangerous to break an energy-saving light bulb?

Mercury is an integral component of energy-saving lamps, due to which they are full-fledged sources of light in the room. Mercury belongs to the first class of danger, that is, it is a very dangerous chemical substance.

Let’s consider the main negative effects of mercury on the human body:

  • Damage to the human central nervous system.
  • Defeat of the enzymatic and hematopoietic system.
  • Negative impact on the reproductive function of men and women. There have often been cases of premature birth under the influence of this chemical. Mercury is also the cause of infertility in men.
  • Mercury has the property of displacing minerals from the human body, occupying their space. This is a very dangerous phenomenon, because instead of the beneficial effect of the necessary mineral substances, the destructive effect of mercury on the human body is observed.
  • Negative effect on the thyroid gland.
  • Mercury affects human brain activity. Under its influence, the victim has blurred consciousness, frequent depression, vision problems and much more.
  • Despite its use in some vaccines, an overdose of mercury can adversely affect the digestive system.
  • Mercury affects a person’s general well-being: he feels extremely tired, exhausted, and loses all interest in life.
  • It is also the cause of various skin diseases: rash, acne, etc.

After reading all these symptoms, it becomes clear that mercury has an extremely negative effect on human health and functioning. However, we are talking about an overdose of this chemical substance, in small doses, mercury is even used in some vaccines and medicines.

A reasonable question would be – is the amount of mercury in energy-saving lamps sufficient to harm a person? As noted by the manufacturers of these lamps, the mercury content in fluorescent lamps is about 2-7 mg of mercury, which is a very small amount. To cause harm to a person, the concentration of mercury must be at least 0.25 mg per cubic meter of room space. Based on this, it becomes clear that mercury vapors resulting from the destruction or damage of a light bulb can have a negative effect on a person, especially if it happened in a closed room.

lamp recycling

There are energy-saving lamps that do not contain mercury in its pure form. We are talking about lamps containing amalgam – an alloy of mercury with other metals. As we can see, mercury is still present there, but is this technology dangerous for humans when an energy-saving light bulb is destroyed?

An energy-saving lamp with amalgam technology includes a small amount of mercury in the form of an alloy with other metals that prevail in its composition. In addition, mercury is in solid form in the lamp, which significantly reduces the risk of poisoning. However, it is not necessary to talk about the complete safety of such technology, because in the event of the destruction of a working lamp, mercury vapor will inevitably enter the air, albeit in smaller quantities.

How to remove mercury pollution from the room?

If, after all, the fluorescent lamp broke, then it is necessary to know the sequence of all actions that will avoid or reduce the harmful effects of mercury on the body.

This process itself is called “demercurization”, which consists of the following:

  1. After the lamp has broken in the room, it is necessary to urgently remove all people and pets from the room.
  2. Next, you need to thoroughly ventilate the room, having previously closed the door to the room. This is necessary so that drafts are not created that can spread mercury vapor throughout the apartment.
  3. Be careful not to accidentally step on the broken mercury lamp. This will prevent you from further spreading the mercury on the soles of your shoes.
  4. Next, you need to collect all the fragments of the energy-saving lamp. For this, we use disposable rubber gloves, which must be disposed of later after the procedure. In no case do not use a broom, brush or vacuum cleaner, which can become a source of further spread of mercury vapor every time it is turned on. Assembled because it needs to be placed in an airtight container.
  5. After all the fragments have been removed, treat the surface with a solution of potassium permanganate or a solution of soda and soap. We take some unnecessary rag and wipe the affected area. We also remove the rag itself in an airtight container.
  6. In no case do not throw away the cleaned debris in the trash – this will provoke the further spread of mercury. It is necessary to call the rescue service, which will give you detailed instructions for further disposal.
  7. Another important point – do not leave carpets or furniture in the house if it has been affected by mercury. Excessive thrift can later negatively affect the health of you and your loved ones.

recycle energy saving lamp

How to dispose of a broken energy-saving light bulb?

After the demercurization process, a person faces the problem of properly disposing of a broken light bulb and its fragments. Do not under any circumstances dispose of an energy-saving light bulb in the general waste pipe or in the garbage cans on the street. By the way, this also applies to whole lamps that have expired.

A broken energy-saving light bulb, which was previously isolated in an airtight container or plastic bag, should be taken to the local SEZ branch or contacted by the housing organization at the place of residence. They do not collect lamps themselves, but they will help you contact the right organization that specializes in this.

Broken energy-saving lamp – what to do?

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