Is there mercury in fluorescent light bulbs?

Is it dangerous to break a fluorescent light bulb?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use dramatically less energy than incandescent bulbs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But they also contain mercury – a dangerous toxin. … If a CFL breaks, some of the mercury that’s contained in the bulb will evaporate into the air.

Can you get mercury poisoning from a fluorescent bulb?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury. A small percentage of this mercury can be released into the air if the bulbs are broken. … Mercury can cause poisoning in some circumstances. Even so, people are encouraged to replace their “old fashioned” incandescent bulbs with CFLs.

Do fluorescent bulbs have mercury?

It’s true that CFL bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury, sealed within the glass tubing, and it can be released as vapor after a breakage. See also: 18 ways to save on your utility costs. Mercury levels inside fluorescent bulbs are quite low. … (Mercury accumulates in small amounts in the bodies of fish.)

How much mercury is in a fluorescent tube light bulb?

The amount of mercury in a fluorescent lamp varies from 3 to 46 mg, depending on lamp size and age. Newer lamps contain less mercury and the 3–4 mg versions are sold as low-mercury types. A typical 2006-era 4 ft (122 cm) T-12 fluorescent lamp (i.e. F34T12) contains about 5 milligrams of mercury.

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Why is mercury in fluorescent light bulbs?

Mercury is an essential element in the operation of fluorescent lighting; it allows the bulbs to be an efficient light source. Because CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, it is important to educate yourself on proper use, recycling and disposal of these products.

What happens if you breathe in a broken fluorescent bulb?

Persons in rooms after breakage of a CFL may be exposed to mercury by inhalation and by oral intake. After inhalation, more than 80% of inhaled Hg0 vapour is absorbed by the lungs. Ingested Hg0 is poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (less than 0.01%).

What happens if you inhale mercury from a light bulb?

Mercury in CFLs are present as elemental (or metallic) mercury. Once inhaled, the mercury vapor can damage the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. These toxic effects are why any mercury spill should be handled carefully, including one that results from a CFL breaking.

What is the dust in fluorescent bulbs?

The white powder inside the bulb is a metallic compound called phosphor. How do CFLs work? When a CFL is turned on, electricity causes the mercury vapour to produce short-wave ultraviolet (invisible) light, which then causes the phosphor to fluoresce and produce visible light.