The new twisted fluorescent light bulbs are dangerous. According to a Scientific American magazine article, April 10, 2008, the new compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury which is highly toxic. “It is especially harmful to the brains of both fetuses and children. That’s why officials have curtailed or banned its use in applications from thermometers to automotive and thermostat switches.”
Mercury is an effective element in emitting light. If the bulb breaks, you face the possibility of mercury poisoning. Scientific American magazine reported that in Maine, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection referred a homeowner to a decontaminator after a light bulb broke. Yep, a decontaminator!
If one of these new light bulbs breaks, a person must immediately open the windows and step outside for at least 15 minutes. You must take your children with you and any animals to avoid their being poisoned. Prior to leaving you need to shut down the air conditioner or central heating to avoid circulating the mercury dust.
The article states “The important thing is not to touch the heavy metal. After airing out the room, the larger pieces of the bulb should be scooped off hard surfaces with stiff paper or cardboard or picked up off carpeted surfaces with gloves to avoid contact. Use sticky tape or duct tape to pick up smaller fragments; then, on hard surfaces, wipe down the area with a damp paper towel or a wet wipe. All materials should be placed in a sealable plastic bag or, even better, in a glass jar with a metal lid.” In addition, “Vacuums or brooms should generally be avoided, as they can spread mercury to other parts of the house.”
Can you just throw them out when they no longer emit light? NO! Because of the mercury, you need to find out from your municipality how to dispose of them.
A disaster waiting to happen to the uninformed!