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Energy Saving Lightbulbs....Don't Put Them In The Bin!

Most rubbish is sent off to landfill. Often, the materials in that landfill absorb into the ground and eventually into our water supply. That means that if we put toxic materials into our rubbish bins, then it can cause devastating effects to our environment, its plants and animals....and us!

The new energy saving lightbulbs contain mercury which is one of the most toxic substances known to man!

Where to take your energy efficient light bulbs...well, no one seems to have planned for this one! Ring your local council and if they tell you to put it in the bin...tell them off, ask to speak to their waste manager and tell them you demand they provide a safe disposal service.

Clean Up will take fluorescent tubes; go to: or ring: 131 555


Mercury is a liquid blob at room temperature
Mercury is a chemical (Hg) and was discovered a long, long time ago and used to be called Quicksilver. It is the only chemical which is liquid at room temperature and will 'bead' that is, it will roll around like a glob of gloop.

It is used in thermometers, the amalgam fillings in your teeth, in rat poisons, barometers and fluorescent light tubes and energy efficient light bulbs. It doesn't cause a problem when 'trapped' in these devices, but if they break, the mercury gives off a gas which causes nerve, brain and kidney damage, lung irritation, eye irritation, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhoea.

People exposed to mercury will have DNA (genetic) damage, learning problems, deformed babies, memory loss, tremors and many other terrible symptoms.

Mercury is a chemical which once in our body, is very, very difficult to get out. Our body is usually good at getting rid of toxins through our kidneys which sort of filter everything. But mercury tends to stick in our system.

If a thermometer, fluorescent tube or energy saving bulb breaks or leaks - DON'T TRY TO CLEAR IT UP YOURSELF. Get an adult and tell that adult to read this:
~ Move everyone out of the house
~ Don't vacuum it up; don't use broom, don't use household cleaners
~ Remove jewellry (especially gold)
~ wear rubber gloves
~ scoop it onto a sheet of paper or suck it up with an eyedropper
~ put it into a sealed, airtight container or plastic bag, then seal in other plastic bags
~ ring your EPA (Environmental Protection Agency or Government Department) who will tell you where to take the mercury
~ Use a torch to check for more 'beads'....mercury rolls around
~ Open all windows in room but seal off room to rest of house, If you have a fan, put it in room
~ Have a shower with lots of soap and wash hair
~ If you think anyone breathed in mercury vapour, go to a doctor.

Mercury also gets into our environment through industry pollution...but that's another story!
If you want to know more, you can read the great pages at: (it also has stuff on hormone disrupting chemicals like we spoke about in our 'Chemical Waste' story).

Information sourced from:

mercury & stop sign:
isolated house spillage:
toxic gear: