How Mercury Affects Us

Mercury exposure threatens human health & safety

Fluorescent lamps contain mercury and are regulated as hazardous waste at the Federal and State levels. When lamps are broken during handling and storage, they release mercury into the room and put your employees and your company at risk. According to a California Department of Environmental Protection study, when even a single green-tipped low mercury lamp is broken, the resulting level of mercury in the air exceeds occupational-exposure limits. The effects of mercury exposure may not be immediate. Chronic, low-level exposure to mercury can affect human health for years or even generations later. According to the EPA, one in six children born in the U.S. could be at risk for developmental disorders because of mercury exposure in the mother’s womb.

Mercury & Its Risks

Mercury Exposure Poses a Real Threat to Human Health & the Environment

While Americans have successfully lowered their exposure to such bio-toxins as lead, pesticides, and tobacco over the past few years, the risks of mercury exposure are just coming to public attention. We have been exposed to mercury through fish consumption and potentially hazardous products such as thermometers, batteries, and fluorescent lamps are a normal part of our everyday life. These sources all contribute to chronic low-level exposure to a pervasive bio-toxin that, like lead, pesticides, or tobacco, can ruin our health. Recent studies have linked mercury exposure to increased risk of a heart attack in men, to mental retardation and neurological disorders in children, and too dangerous levels of mercury in the blood of women of childbearing age.

Spent Fluorescent Lamps Must be Properly Handled and Stored to Limit Mercury Exposure.

Energy-efficient fluorescent lamps can contribute to a cleaner environment, but they must be managed properly. For most of us, fluorescent lamps present the single greatest risk of mercury exposure in the workplace. A recent study of exposure to broken “low mercury” lamps by the California Department of Environmental Protection entitled “Release of Mercury from Broken Fluorescent Bulbs”* demonstrated that “elevated airborne levels of mercury could exist in the vicinity of recently broken lamps, and …could exceed occupational exposure limits. Because it is very likely that discarded fluorescent bulbs will be broken during conventional waste handling, there is a concern that occupational exposures to workers handling waste materials may occur.

Disposal Systems Inc. and Recycle Solutions LLC. has several programs to make certain your business remains compliant and safe from the effects of mercury. Join our TEAM and THROUGH EDUCATION AND MANAGEMENT, we can protect the environment one bulb at a time.

Thank You.