Disposal of Used Fluorescent Lamps
- By: Ken Nunes
Disposing of the old fluorescent tube must be carried by a specialist company, a few of which are located in Gauteng.
The process is carried out as defined by International Standards, and considers the following:
- Non-Ferrous Metals
- Ferrous Metals
- Phosphor Power
"High doses of mercury can be fatal to humans, but even relatively low doses of mercury containing compounds can have serious adverse impacts on the developing nervous system, and have recently been linked with possible harmful effects on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.
Mercury and its compounds affect the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver and can disturb immune processes; cause tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia and emotional instability. During pregnancy, mercury compounds cross the placental barrier and can interfere with the development of the foetus, and cause attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood". Source Health & Environment Alliance
The importance of certified disposal of fluorescent tubes must therefore become a priority of all schools.
However, the process is quite expensive, where the average cost could be as high as R20.00 per lamp, including transport costs.
Suntricity is presently in discussion with one of the Johannesburg certified disposing companies, with the aim of finding an affordable collective solution, where many schools can be involved, in order to avoid cases as detailed in the attached image.
More information will be published shortly.