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Hazards of CFL's Due To Mercury: When Will It End?




Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are good substitute to the now being banned incandescent lamps. It is more energy efficient and lasts longer than its counterpart. CFLs are more expensive because the price includes the disposal fee. It was introduced in North America in mid 1990s. Although it is more energy efficient than the incandescent lamps, its composition makes its disposal complicated. CFLs are known to contain mercury which is a very serious threat to the environment once disposed improperly.


Mercury functions as the vapor inside the glass tubing of CFLs. Usually CFLs contains around 3-5 mg of Mercury; some have it as low as 1 mg. In essence, Mercury is utilized as vapor in a phosphor tube, which when electricity pass through, it produces short-wave UV (ultraviolet light) which causes the phosphor to fluoresce, therefore making visible light.

Mercury or Hydrargyrum or quicksilver is a liquid metal with a symbol Hg. Mercury is a poisonous chemical that can be derived from major deposits as cinnabar or mercuric sulfide, the reason for vermilion, the red pigment responsible for the reddening of the soil. The poisonous substance can be ingested or inhaled mercury vapor or by eating mercury contaminated fish. Mercury poisoning which is also known as mercurialism or hydrargyria is the disease that can be derived from exposure to mercury or its components. Acrodynia, Hunter Russell syndrome and Minamata disease are among the list of those mercury related diseases. It affects body senses such as impaired vision, hearing and speech. Disturbed sensation and lack of body coordination are also among the symptoms.

Imagine the world full of mercury-filled CFLs, time will come that the number one cause of human fatality is mercury poisoning. Steps are being taken into account for the eradication of CFLs. By the year 2015, the government of the United States of America will implement the banning of use of CFLs to stop the possible exposure to mercury. Although it is expected that many users of CFL will stop this banning procedure, a lot of informative measures are being given to the public to further understand why the government is pursuing this act.

When this thing comes into action and given that the incandescent bulbs will as well be phased-out, what can substitute CFLs as lighting solution? Majority are thinking that LED lamps are the next thing to be on the spot light to cater all the lighting requirement of the world.

LED lamps can be considered a viable means as alternative to the prevailing lighting system which are expected to be obsolete in the years to come. LED lamps are a lot more beneficial to employ than those two. Imagine the comfort one can have if for a long time, around 10


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