Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Boy, I think they really screwed up by not putting more info out there about fluorescent bulbs. Why do the have to use mercury, of all thing? I was working the basement the other day, building some shelves, and I cracked a bulb on the ceiling fixture. It didn't shatter and there were only a few shards on the ground, but it was enough to freak me out. I forbade the kids from entering and began the cleanup.

I'm still not clear as to what happens when the bulbs break, but my understanding is the mercury vapor is released, though a lot of it apparently adheres to the glass shards that fall. I picked up the pieces and sealed the bulb in a plastic bag, and then began the cleanup. I'd heard you don't vacuum or sweep for fear of dissipating the mercury, but then what are you supposed to do? I did the duct tape thing, but that'll only get you so far. I hope it was enough.

I opened up the bulkhead and vented the place, but it really bummed me out to have it happen. I'm thinking really of the kids, don't want to put them in harms way. I'll keep researching this, but suffice it to say that the dangers we impose on ourselves really suck.

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