range hood compact fluorescent?

lpcmidst128

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Since the my range hood light is used a lot, I was wondering if it is safe to put a compact fluorescent bulb in there. The bulb in the hood uses a 40 watt appliance bulb. Thanks.
 

Light Sabre

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I refuse to use a CFL in the hood over my stove. Too much heat right under it. Really dry heat. Really humid heat. If it shatters, it will have glass, mercury, etc everywhere. I would hate to have to replace my stove because of a shattered CFL. Over the stove is one place I still have an incan.
 

Norm

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It's just mercury. How bad could it be? They used to use it as a cure for syphilis.
Mad Hatter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The name 'Mad Hatter' was undoubtedly inspired by the phrase "as mad as a hatter". There is some confusion as to the origins of this phrase. Mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats. It was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process. Hatters and mill workers often suffered mercury poisoning as residual mercury vapor caused neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision. It was not unusual then for hatters to appear disturbed or mentally confused, many died early as a result of mercury poisoning. However, the Mad Hatter does not exhibit the symptoms of mercury poisoning. Principal symptoms of mercury poisoning are "excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to remain unobserved and unobtrusive"[1] Most likely the Mad Hatter was modeled on someone who was not a hatter, but the hatter character with its associations with madness was a useful symbol.
 

TPA

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I've used CFL bulbs in my range hoods for 10+ years now without an issue. All of the ranges or hoods I've installed them in had completely enclosed bulb areas w/lenses, so I felt comfortable enough about doing this. Considering the oldest install/retrofit of these I've done is still using the original bulbs after 10+ years and I use it nightly, I think it's safe to say mercury most likely hasn't been leaking out. In fact these bulbs have outlasted any other CFLs I have in any of my homes. I even have CFLs in one of my fridges, which will be replaced with LEDs soon.

That said, I'd never use them if the bulb itself was exposed or was going to be subjected to extreme heat (ie less than 18" away from the top of the cooking vessel).

If a CFL breaks above a cooking surface, it's probably good practice to throw out whatever you were eating and wipe down everything if not just to avoid ingesting glass fragments.

Also, let's put things in perspective:

Amount of mercury in:
a CFL bulb - < 5 mg
amalgam dental filling - 80-380mg of mercury
fever thermometer - 500-1000mg
thermostat - 3000-4500mg

As pointed out, mercury was, and still is, used in medical treatments. If you've had: influenza, teatnus, diptheria, HepA/HepB, encephalitis, meningococcal(meningitis) vaccines, you've had more mercury directly injected into your bloodstream than you ever would ingest from the broken CFL, unless you plan on snorting the remnants like cocaine. The "mad hatters" referenced by Norm were exposed to heavy concentrations of mercury in the air day-in, day-out. Not a single episode caused from a broken light bulb.

Overall I'd it's best to avoid ingesting mercury, but it's not entirely something to be feared either. As a kid, we screwed around with mercury thermostats, had a good time, and still somehow survived.
 

Nubo

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I've had a CFL in our range hood for several years now. I think it's a 10 or 12 watt. Still going strong. We usually use it to illuminate the kitchen in the evenings, so it gets a lot of hours.

Before switching, I was forever replacing the doggone incan bulb -- vibration from the hood fan I guess.

With the amount of Mercury involved, I'd think a careful cleanup and food toss would be all that's needed; same as with a shattered Incan. I'd probably put on some latex gloves just to be safe.
 
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SafetyBob

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If you are concerned, Microbrites have a nice plastic case around the actual tube. Nice and small and of very good quality.

Bob E.
 

2xTrinity

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The form of mercury that is most problematic for health is mercury vapor. Liquid mercury is mostly a problem not because of ingestion, but inhalation of vapors thrown off from it. However, mercury in the form of amalgam (solid alloy) is less of a problem for two reasons:

1) It's easier to "sweep up" and dispose of than liquid Hg
2) It doesn't easily release mercury vapor at room temp.

Number 2 is the reason for the irritating "warmup time" of many modern CFLs. In order for mercury vapor pressure to increase, the amalgam contained inside needs to heat up. The fact that the mercury is contained inside an amalgam means that it is less likely to fuse with the glass etc. when the light is struck off and on, meaning much less mercury is needed in modern bulbs than in fluorescent lamps of the past.

That's also the reason why mercury amalgam dental fillings don't cause severe mercury poisoning.

That said, I still think that a "covered" lower-wattage CFL will likely be much more durable than a standard screw-type CFL. Ideally as low a wattage you can find -- as range hoods aren't exactly the best at dissipating heat, which tends to lead to death for many cheap CFL ballasts.

My particular range hood has an oddball screw base (smaller than standard, but larger than the night light/"candelabra" base). It also has dimming feature on it that would probably not "play nice" with CFLs, even if I could fit them. I'm considering homebrewing an LED scheme in there, powered by a separate DC power brick (not the screw base).
 

Timothybil

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I don't know about your stove hood, but mine has a white plastic sheet over the light - I assume to act as a diffuser and to keep grease vapor away from the socket. If one ever popped on me I would just finish cooking whatever and then put some lightly moistened newspaper down on the stove top before removing the diffuser and cleaning up all the pieces. Not a problem.
 

yuandrew

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My particular range hood has an oddball screw base (smaller than standard, but larger than the night light/"candelabra" base). It also has dimming feature on it that would probably not "play nice" with CFLs, even if I could fit them. I'm considering homebrewing an LED scheme in there, powered by a separate DC power brick (not the screw base).

It's probably an " Intermediate " base. Try seeing if a C-9 Christmas light bulb will fit there.
 
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