Don’t break spent fluorescent lamps and discard them properly, green groups tell public
MANILA, Philippines — Broken used-up fluorescent lamps pose danger to public health due to mercury vapor that may cause life-threatening chemical pneumonitis and respiratory failure when inhaled.
This was the warning of Quezon City-based environmental groups as they reminded the public to properly dispose of spent fluorescent lamps to prevent mercury vapor release.
Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) and EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday appealed for adherence to the provisions of Quezon City Ordinance No. 1483-2005 and Quezon City Ordinance No. 2350-2014 on the safe management of used fluorescent lamps containing mercury.
“Spent fluorescent lamps should be separated from other discards and handled with great care to avoid breakage,” MEF chairman Sonia Mendoza said.
EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said the public should be informed on safety measures and the dangers of fluorescent lamps’ improper disposal to protect their health and the environment from mercury pollution.
According to the group, they uncovered busted lighting products discarded along Aurora Boulevard near the corner of Doña Hemady Street and V. Luna Avenue near the corner of Malakas Street both in Quezon City in January and March, respectively.
EcoWaste said the Quezon City Department of Sanitation and Cleanup Works (DSQC) should “launch an information and compliance drive on safe lamp waste management and [monitor] the storage of collected lamps at the various Barangay Materials Recovery Facilities (BMRFs),” among others.
Under Section 5, Chapter 4 of the QC Environment Code, “household hazardous wastes such as busted fluorescent lamps and spent batteries shall be separated from domestic wastes,” the group noted, adding that the same rule mandates households to bring used up fluorescent lamps and spent batteries to the BMRF for temporary storage until collected by a city-contracted hazardous waste collector, transporter, or treater.