Once More Into the Breach

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The New Light Bulbs are Already History

I said earlier that it would only be a matter of time before those screwy light bulbs Congress has mandated for us to use are found to be dangerous to our health. It didn't take long. The EPA is now warning that these bulbs are not safe to use anywhere. Just the suggested clean up procedures point to a future lawsuit.

Fluorescent light bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. EPA recommends the following clean-up and disposal guidelines:

Before Clean-up: Vent the Room

1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
2. Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.

Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

3. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
4. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
5. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the glass jar or plastic bag.
6. Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug

3. Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
4. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
5. If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
6. Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

Disposal of Clean-up Materials

7. Immediately place all cleanup materials outside the building in a trash container or outdoor protected area for the next normal trash.
8. Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.
9. Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Vent the Room During and After Vacuuming

10. The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window prior to vacuuming.
11. Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.

It will not matter that Congress mandated these things. When the time comes you will be held liable for any pollution from the mercury in your home. Just like the Radon testing nonsense the day will come when you will have to prove zero mercury contamination before you can sell your house. The concerns are great enough that we may get Congress to repeal this stupid mandate before we are all on the hook for a nation wide Super Fund clean up.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that that's the EPA's recommended procedure...I took a lot of chemistry on the way to a degree in chemical engineering and have had some practical training in spill cleanup for general hazmat work.

If you have a reference for these guidelines, it would be helpful to convince the Gaia worshippers that this is for real.

doug in Colorado

6:12 PM  

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