Ask An Electrician - Are CFL Bulbs Hazardous To Your Health?

May 04, 2023

One of the most recognizable images of a “good idea” is that of an incandescent light bulb. Although the incandescent light bulb is arguably one of the most life changing inventions of all-time, it will soon be nearly phased out in a large portion of the world. As part of the United States Government’s Energy Independence and Security Act, the incandescent bulb was mostly phased out by the end of 2012. The bulb best poised to take its place is the easily accessible, highly efficient Compact Fluorescent (CFL).

CFLs have very clear benefits. They have a longer life, use less energy and emit very low amounts of heat. Recently, however, as a result of the upcoming phase out, concerns have been raised regarding the health risks posed by CFLs, particularly because they contain mercury.

Is the Mercury in CFLs Dangerous?

Each CFL contains an average of four milligrams of mercury, a trace of this highly dangerous heavy metal. To put this into perspective, older mercury thermometers contained approximately 500mg. It would take more than 100 CFLs to equal this amount. The EPA mandates that if you spill less than two tablespoons, but more than the amount found in a thermometer, then you must call your local environmental health agency. How does this relate to a broken CFL in your home? In a nutshell, you should ensure proper clean up, but it is not a serious health risk. The greatest risk in this situation is the time immediately following the break. Small children and pets are at risk if they come into direct contact with the mercury.

With prompt, proper cleanup, compact fluorescents do not pose any greater risk to us than any other type of light bulb. By being careful when handling and plugging them into outlets that have been properly installed by an electrician in Las Vegas or Salt Lake City, you can avoid any dangers that this highly efficient, long-lasting light bulb technology can pose. Contact Yes! today to speak with an expert about your lighting needs at 844-216-9300.

Last Updated: May 25, 2023