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Compact Fluorescent Lamp's can really harm you

A total of 22 samples of CFLs of four well known brands sold in India were analysed for mercury content.

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dna Correspondent

Updated: Sep 30, 2011, 12:23 AM IST

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Compact fluorescent lamps may have become popular for their energy saving capabilities, but they pose great danger to the health of Indians as they contain toxic metal mercury much higher than the international standards, a study revealed.

The study ‘Toxics in That Glow-Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in India’ conducted by an NGO Toxics Link found that average mercury content per unit in CFL was around 21.21 mg, which is much higher than the internationally known standards ranging four to six times the CFLs sold in many developed countries.

A total of 22 samples of CFLs of four well known brands sold in India were analysed for mercury content. Mercury was found to be in the range of 2.27 to 62.56 mg per unit. The US cap is 4mg per CFL unit for up to 25 watts and 5mg for CFL units over 25 watts. In the European Union, the restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) law mandates the cap to 5mg per CFL.

Mercury, a highly toxic metal,  is known to impact vital organs such as level causing developmental and neurological problems. The study said greater exposure of mercury will affect health of waste workers and local inhabitants.

“The Indian CFL industry is exploiting the new market opened up by the climate change crisis, however, they are creating a toxic crisis. Instead of following the best practices in the world, they are putting the Indian consumer at risk trough high level of mercury,” said Toxics Link Director Ravi Agarwal after releasing the study here.

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