Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have become extremely popular in the past few years. Their skyrocketing fame can be credited to their longevity and effectiveness. Although LED lights contain traces of hazardous materials, the concentration of the substances is minimal. Therefore, they are considered to be safer.
LED lights tend to have a lifespan of 50,000 hours and are 90% more energy-efficient than incandescent lights. These properties are the reason why LED lights are replacing other bulb types in recent years.
Many people are misinformed about the hazardous materials used in LED lights/bulbs. LED lights do contain hazardous materials such as arsenic, lead, iron, copper, and nickel. Heightened, direct exposure or consumption of some of these substances can lead to cancer, diabetes, and skin lesions.
However, these materials are not categorized as toxic by law. It is because the toxic materials in LED lights are incredibly minimal in amount. Therefore, even if you were to be exposed to these materials accidentally, it is highly unlikely that you will be affected by them.
Do LED Lights/Bulbs Contain Mercury?
A common misconception people have about LED lights and bulbs is that they contain mercury. We want to set the record straight today once and for all – LEDs do not contain even the tiniest bit of mercury in them. They are different from the light bulbs before them, as LED lights are generated using a semiconductor that does not require any amount of mercury.
Because LED lights do not contain any mercury, they are considered to be environmentally safe. Now, let’s give you a little insight into what mercury is and why it is harmful.
What is Mercury?
Mercury is a substance that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. It releases through volcanic activity and human activity such as coal-fired power stations, industrial processes, and waste incinerators. Exposure to mercury can be highly hazardous to the central and peripheral nervous systems.
The nervous, digestive, and immune systems, along with lungs and kidneys, can be fatally affected if you inhale mercury. Furthermore, it also causes skin corrosion and affects the eyes too.
The wire coating/insulation in LED lights have small amounts of lead. Lead is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen that in large quantities can have adverse health effects.
How to Dispose of LED Lights?
Disposing of LEDs can be challenging at times because they contain materials that are considered hazardous. Therefore, improper disposal can negatively affect the environment. As mentioned above, LEDs do not contain mercury; thus, they do not need a specific way to be disposed of.
LED light bulbs can break when thrown into the trash can or dumpster or thrown into a landfill. This can cause a minute amount of hazardous materials to be released into the environment. Although they aren’t a health hazard, being cautious is always the way to go.
If you do not wish to dispose of the LED lights/bulbs, you can always find a recycling facility that accepts them.
So Are LED Lights Hazardous?
To sum it up, LED lights and bulbs contain some hazardous materials, but in a minimal amount. They pose no danger to humans when inhaled. Furthermore, we hope this article helped you clear up the misconception of LEDs containing mercury. In fact, LEDs are considered to be the “greener” option amongst other light bulbs.
LED Lights Unlimited
LED Lights Unlimited distributes custom LED lights, commercial string lights, auto and boat LEDs, patio lights, and much more. We are stationed in Idaho’s Silver Valley and have created a loyal customer base over the past few decades. If you are looking for the best service out there that can provide you with the optimum quality LED lights, look no further! Visit our website now to browse through the variety of LED lights we have to offer!
Disclaimer: Our products are ROHS-compliant. This means that we are aware they may contain lead but do not exceed the allowable amounts.