So, what is the concentration of mercury vapor in ten cubic feet of air near where a single CFL device has been broken ? and where in the lamps does this 3 micrograms reside in the lamp, and why would it be in a vapor form at normal room temperatures? My observation of the broken lamps that I have seen is that there are quite large chunks and a few small slivers. I know that the slivers can be nasty and sharp, but clearly most of the white stuff is still in the glass. So where does all of this huge cloud of mercury vapor come from?
OF course it is best to avoid breaking the lamps, but this writeup seems to be intent on arousing hysteria and fomenting panic. If we went back to using candels for light the big hazard would be setting fires, which are probably a lot more dangerous.
I am not advocating stupidity, and I would never allow children to play with broken lights, but the whole tone of the article seems inappropriate for an intellectual publication such as Design News.
Interesting story, Todd. I would guess the packing that absorbs mercury costs quite a bit more than traditional packaging. I wonder whether this will affect its use. Unless there is a government mandate, it could be this packaging will not be widely utilized.
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Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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