We did a post not that long ago about the CFL light bulbs that we will all soon have to buy because the government has baned incandescent bulbs. It seems that these nifty new CFL’s are hazardous if they break, requiring safety procedures to simply clean up after the breakage, let alone, the requirements for disposal.
Many thought CFL’s would only be a brief period in our lighting “history” as LED’s, although expensive, would come to the rescue. That may not be the case.
Scientists at the University of California have found that LED’s may well be as hazardous as the CFL’s, but, for different reasons.
The low-intensity red LEDs (light emitting diodes) in Christmas lighting strands had up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, and while the white bulbs had less lead than the colored ones, they had high levels of nickel…
So, here is what happens if one of the LED’s break.
…sweep up the pieces with a special broom while wearing gloves and a mask…the tiny red LEDs are ‘hazardous waste’ and shouldn’t be tossed in the trash.
There is good news, though.
…it would take a hammer or pliers to get at the inside of the screw-in-bulbs.
Unless, of course, you have a four year old child in your household.
The heck, you say, those findings are only in Christmas lights. But, not so fast.
The scientists also crunched, leached and measured other LEDs: red, yellow and green traffic lights; household replacements for incandescents; automobile headlights and brake lights. Yet they won’t release those findings until they’re peer-reviewed in a few months. Ogunseitan said these LEDs also contained toxic chemicals.
Silly me, but, if an incandescent bulb broke, no toxic chemicals were released in your home. No need for a hazmat suit for clean up, or a special broom.
By the way, does anyone know where I can buy one of those “special brooms” to clean up the LED residue?