Friday, March 21, 2008

Coin Photographers: Don't Break Your Bulbs!

I recently saw or read that a family member broke a fluorescent bulb in their house and the cost of calling in a hazardous cleanup crew to get rid of the mercury contaminant was $2000. I know many of you use the fluoresents as a light source for your coin photography as I often do, but I had no idea the potential contamination was considered to be so serious.

As I began to search for the degree of potential danger I encountered the following article: What do you think or know? Here is another article I think you should read: I am sure there are already millions of the bulbs in use and we will probably hear much more about the potential hazards. I hope we have a few Bulb Gurus who can , forgive me. enlighten us! Thanks for reading and God Bless.. Jerry..

1 comment:

Aaron Muderick. said...


Just because someone is willing to charge you $2000 to clean something up, doesn't mean it is truly hazardous. If I can do some math that shows a potential for risk, it doesn't mean the risk is really there. If I can develop fancy equipment capable of detecting incredibly small contamination levels, that doesn't mean I need to get rid of it.

There are 5mg of elemental Mercury in a CFL. Not very much at all. Break a bulb? Follow standard clean-up procedure. Maybe open some windows. And, then, forget about it.

Break 100 bulbs? Then perhaps I would take action.