Whoa! Just how much Mercury do these things contain?
If I were to take a few, and burst them in a creek, or in a tributary of a reservoir, would anyone notice? I mean, the enviro-whackos warn us how dangerous micrograms of this stuff is in fish, how dangerous is milligrams (1,000 times a microgram) of this? I don’t get it!
And to give you a clue of the seriousness the Mercury-containing bulbs are treated by the recyclers, the bulbs are accepted at this Earth Day Event for special recycling needs. A snippet:
OLYMPIA – Many common household items containing mercury, such as medical thermometers and fluorescent light bulbs, cause big problems if tossed in the trash where they can get into our air, land and water.
As part of Earth Week 2007, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is helping to sponsor local mercury collection events in 11 counties.
These events are especially timely in light of the recent mercury poisoning of a Yakima teenager who remains hospitalized as a result of exposure to mercury at his home.
I checked for data from Material Safety Data Sheets online, and found a Phillips CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb) listed as having 0.025 milligrams per cubic meter. I currently own none, but may purchase one so I can get a look at the Material Safety Data Sheet that should come with the bulb, since they contain Phosphor powder, Promethium-147 [produced in Nuclear Reactors], and Mercury [Bethelem Recycling].
At the rate at which I break light bulbs, I think I’ll hold off on purchasing them for use at home. I also remember how we got rid of spent fluorescent tubes when I worked at Winn-Dixie as a teenager. We would have about 50 or 60 at a time, and take them out to the dumpster behind the store, and heave them in the dumpster one at a time like spears so they would all break. Sometimes we would have a tube fight, and throw them at each other! Apart from a few cuts, none of us were harmed, even when we busted them over each other wielded like light-sabres! Now those were fun times!