Low-Energy Bulbs: Are They Safe?

The Committee on safety of consumers (CSC) just called individuals for caution concerning low-energy lamps. Take precautions if you use?

Low consumption lamps are greener, certainly, but not without risk. So much so that in a statement, the Committee on safety of consumers (CSC) just called individuals to be careful. Insofar as “the possible harmfulness” of these lights “debated”, the independent authority recommends to take certain precautions.

Advice Jean-Luc Guerquin-Kern, researcher at Inserm, Member of the Commission of consumer safety.

• Qwhat Precautions to Take?

“We’re in a blur on the effects of these lamps, especially with regard to the emission of electromagnetic waves. Also it is advised users not to hold less than 30 cm of a lighted bulb on Necessaryhome. Beyond this distance, there is no risk. However, it is unclear what is happening below, because the measures are impossible.

If the reference levels are exceeded, this could create a warm-up in the brain, a bit like in a microwave. Taken into account by saying that there may be a risk. That said, this risk seems in any case minimal: there is no danger of electric shock or severe tingling. In addition, unknown effects long-term of electromagnetic waves.”

• What to Do When You Break a Bulb Low Consumption?

“Low consumption lamps contain mercury, also explains Jean-Luc Guerquin-Kern.” When you break a bulb, it is released into the air. Governments do not have a maximum exposure level. But the U.S. Agency dealing with toxic substances, of the Ministry of health, recommends, when we broke a lamp, to leave the room and didn’t come back only once the mercury down under 3 micrograms per meter cube. The measures that were made show that the mercury levels resulting from the breakage of a light bulb can be 15 to 20 micrograms, which is indeed a significant amount.

A person who breaks a light bulb must ventilate the room for fifteen to thirty minutes, and then picking up debris with wet paper or a piece of tape, and absolutely avoid vacuuming. Other records to respect: even if mercury has disappeared, the low-energy bulbs contain rare earths (Editor’s Note: pollutant metals) and electronic components. Therefore, recycle them.”

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