Archive for April, 2007



April 27, 2007

With the rush by Al Gore to have everyone buy CFL’s(compact fluorescent lamps) to help slow or prevent global warming the American ordinary citizen is being neglected in being told just how hazardous the CFL’s are. The link will provide you the truth and danger’s about CFL’s.

This what you must NOT do to prevent your home from becoming a hazardous waste site

What NEVER to do with a mercury spill



  • Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. The vacuum will put mercury into the air and increase exposure. The vacuum appliance will be contaminated and have to be thrown away.


  • Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury into smaller droplets and spread them.


  • Never pour mercury down a drain. It may lodge in the plumbing and cause future problems during plumbing repairs. If discharged, it can cause pollution of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant.


  • Never wash mercury-contaminated items in a washing machine. Mercury may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.


  • Never walk around if your shoes might be contaminated with mercury. Contaminated clothing can also spread mercury around.

The following is the E.P.A.’s recommended course of action if you DO NOT have the $2,000 to spend to have your house cleaned professionally.


THE proper way to clean a hazardous contamination

Spills: Less than or equal to the amount in a thermometer


  • Remove everyone from the area where cleanup will take place. Shut door of impacted area. Turn off ventilation system. DO NOT allow or gain assistance from children. Remember to remove all pets as well.
  • Mercury can be cleaned up easily from the following surfaces: wood, linoleum, tile and any other like surfaces.
  • If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other like surfaces, these contaminated items should be thrown away in accordance with the disposal means outlined below. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal.


Check List

Items needed to clean up a small mercury spill

  1. 4 to 5 ziplock-type bags

  2. trash bags (2 to 6 mm thick)

  3. rubber or latex gloves

  4. paper towels

  5. cardboard or squeegee

  6. eyedropper

  7. duct tape, or shaving cream & small paint brush

  8. flashlight

  9. powdered sulfur (optional)

Cleanup Instructions

  1. Put on rubber or latex gloves.
  2. If there are any broken pieces of glass or sharp objects, pick them up with care. Place all broken objects on a paper towel. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Secure the bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department.
  3. Locate visible mercury beads. Use a squeegee or cardboard to gather mercury beads. Use slow sweeping motions to keep mercury from becoming uncontrollable. Take a flashlight, hold it at a low angle close to the floor in a darkened room and look for additional glistening beads of mercury that may be sticking to the surface or in small cracked areas of the surface. Note: Mercury can move surprising distances on hard-flat surfaces, so be sure to inspect the entire room when “searching.”
  4. Use the eyedropper to collect or draw up the mercury beads. Slowly and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. Place the paper towel in a zip lock bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department.
  5. After you remove larger beads, put shaving cream on top of small paint brush and gently “dot” the affected area to pick up smaller hard-to-see beads. Alternatively, use duct tape to collect smaller hard-to-see beads. Place the paint brush or duct tape in a zip lock bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department.
  6. OPTIONAL STEP: It is OPTIONAL to use commercially available powdered sulfur to absorb the beads that are too small to see. The sulfur does two things: (1) it makes the mercury easier to see since there may be a color change from yellow to brown and (2) it binds the mercury so that it can be easily removed and suppresses the vapor of any missing mercury. Where to get commercialized sulfur? It may be supplied as mercury vapor absorbent in mercury spill kits, which can be purchased from laboratory, chemical supply and hazardous materials response supply manufacturers.Note: Powdered sulfur may stain fabrics a dark color. When using powdered sulfur, do not breathe in the powder as it can be moderately toxic. Additionally, users should read and understand product information before use.
  7. If you choose not to use this option, you may want to request the services of a contractor who has monitoring equipment to screen for mercury vapors. Consult your local environmental or health agency to inquire about contractors in your area. Place all materials used with the cleanup, including gloves, in a trash bag. Place all mercury beads and objects into the trash bag. Secure trash bag and label it as directed by your local health or fire department.
  8. Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
  9. Remember to keep the area well-ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans running) for at least 24 hours after your successful cleanup. Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately. EPA’s Mercury Web site presents information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury.For additional information on health effects, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides a Mercury Fact Sheet Exit EPA that also presents information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury.

Recommendation: If there are young children or pregnant women in the house, seek additional advice from your local or state health or state environmental agency.

I truly wish that this posting was just tongue in cheek but alas it is all to real, if you buy CFL’s your home is a potential toxic waste site and dump