The CFLs are the subject of a big promotion. However, some scientific journalists wonder about the harmfulness of the CFL. The consumer safety Commission was seized with the problem and proposes measures of security.
The benefits of the CFL
Compared to an incandescent lamp, the lamp CFL (see meaning at Abbreviationfinder.org) consumes between 4 and 5 times less electric power for a light output tenfold.
According to the manufacturers life expectancy is 6 times greater than an incandescent bulb: 1,000 hours
estimated for the classic against 6 000 to 10 000 hours for the CFL lamp.
However, the benefits are tempered by its high price.
Vigilance on the CFL points
Safety of consumers (SCC) Commission published its study on the lamp CFL in domestic environment, concerning the safety of the people in March 2011. The SCC has distinguished three points of vigilance:
The electromagnetic emission levels allowed, suspected to be carcinogenic in some quantity.
The mercury in the air acceptable, yet unregulated content. Mercury is essential to the functioning of a CFL lamp. However, it is harmful when the bulb is broken. It is then inhaled, enters the blood and little attack the nervous system and harm the development of a fetus.
Close to the bulb, CFL and electromagnetic field
Concerning the electromagnetic emissions, measures taken on a panel of CFL bulbs. These measures proved to be consistent with the provisions of Decree No. 2002-775 of 3 May 2002 relative to the values the public to the EMF exposure limits.
Within a radius of 30 cm, emissions are therefore not harmful; measures have not been conducted in close proximity to the bulb. In addition, they were not made when the CFL lighting. The SCC says these two pitfalls by the complexity of the measurement device.
The CSC points out, however, a risk of interaction between cardiac pacemakers and a device generating electromagnetic waves. It is therefore highly desirable that established persons particularly respect the safe distance of 30 cm of a CFL lamp.
The problem of the regulation of mercury
CCS notes first of all that regulation does not dangerous limit of mercury content in the air, for an exhibition of short to long term. She therefore call on Governments to remedy this lack and determine maximum values of exposure to mercury. The french Labour Code limit the mercury content 50 micrograms per m3 of air; in other European countries, the limit can go down to 25 micrograms.
More for mercury in electrical equipment capacity, CSC asks that the European directive 2002/95/EC of 27 January 2003 in force is adapted to technological advances. The maximum limit is currently 5 mg per lamp, while the last born contain only 2 mg.
In addition, the CSC encourages manufacturers to produce lamps containing the least possible mercury and distributors to actively participate in the recycling of these lamps, even broken. The European directive no. 91/689 of the Parliament and the European Council of 2003 makes manufacturers responsible for the Organization of the collection and recycling of these lamps.
During the measurements carried out by the SCC, several tests have been made with ventilation more or less pronounced, in a room more or less great. None of the experiments revealed a content higher than the French standard. However, researchers found that the mercury content is highest close to the ground after a CFL was broken.
Advice given by the CSC for the CFL lamp
In the light of these problems, the SCC advises consumers to take some precautionary measures:
Focus on the lamps whose mercury content is minimal.
During a CFL lamp broken, the CSC, for not inhaling volatile mercury, advises to leave the room to ventilate at best, before picking up broken with gloves, or paper towel. These chips must be placed in a strong plastic bag. Pass the vacuum cleaner is very strongly discouraged: this device helps put mercury in suspension particles in the air.
Participate in recycling CFLs, in the points indicated and appropriate: in store or dump.
Finally, for electromagnetic waves, the CSC invites to stand at a distance of 30 cm in the case of prolonged exposure.
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