Don't panic, CFLs contain a very, very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing an average of 4 milligrams. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. If the CFL broke recently, review our clean up guidelines to see if there are any reasonable actions that you could take today. For example, if you vacuumed up the debris and you haven't yet changed and disposed of your vacuum bag, then do that. EPA's clean up guidelines are conservative, because they are based on the few scientific studies available to date. These studies are based on chronic (long-term) exposure to mercury vapors (exposure to mercury on a regular basis in your job). EPA plans to conduct a study to quantify the exposure levels from a broken CFL in the home and we will update our clean up guidelines as more information becomes available. If you are still concerned about your exposure, you can consult your family physician (or other qualified doctor), explain the situation, and request a urine test to see if you or your kids have elevated levels of mercury. The urine test is best test for exposures to elemental mercury and an indicator of levels in kidney, which is the primary storage tissue for inorganic mercury. Urine tests for mercury are relatively inexpensive.
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ENERGY STAR products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Saving energy helps prevent climate change. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to save money on your energy bills and help protect our environment.
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Improving your home's energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR can help to lower high energy bills, improve comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn about the many ways to save in your home and track your progress with "My ENERGY STAR" - your new dashboard to savings.
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A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the US EPA. ENERGY STAR certified homes use 15-30% less energy than typical new homes while delivering better comfort, quality, and durability.
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