THE ENERGY crisis in our country has taken us towards the energy conservation these days at the national level. The use of energy-saver bulbs instead of traditional bulbs and tube lights has increased throughout the country.
As everyone knows that these energy-saver bulbs are economical in use but nobody knows that these energy savers can be a serious health hazard.
A few months ago, in one of the newspapers I have noticed an awareness message published by Enercon (The National Energy Conservation Centre) with the title ‘Energy saver bulbs have one hitch: toxic mercury’.
I was greatly surprised because I was not aware that these saver bulbs can be dangerous to health if broken. The Enercon said if the energy saver bulb is broken, the room should be evacuated for at least fifteen minutes.
The low energy bulbs contain mercury (poisonous) which can cause migraine disorientation, imbalances and other health problems. When inhaled, it can cause allergies, severe skin conditions and other diseases.
Some precautions were also mentioned in case an energy-saver bulb is shattered, e.g., to leave the room, and not to use vacuum cleaner because it will spread toxic mercury around.
They should be cleaned after wearing rubber gloves and placed in sealed plastic bag. The trash of the remains should not to be thrown in a dustbin.
This is another issue that even in Islamabad no separate bins have been provided near residential areas to dump toxic materials like batteries, remains of broken thermometers, blood-pressure instruments, etc.
The awareness message also mentioned warnings for the manufacturers to label their bulbs for safe disposal which should be observed on energy-saver packs.
I appreciate the efforts of the Enercon for providing information to the public.
Tabinda Ashraf @Islamabad