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Mercury in DLP Lamps?


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3 replies to this topic

#1 of 4 Mark Abrams

Mark Abrams

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Posted November 30 2010 - 10:13 AM

I have a Samsung HL-R5667W DLP TV and the only big problems I had with it were just before the extended warranty expired last Fall, so I ended up basically getting virtually the entire inside of the TV replaced under warranty.  I purchased a new lamp because at that point (4 years out) I figured it was about time - got a genuine Samsung /Phillips OEM lamp and everything worked fine for about 6 months, but then one day the lamp wouldn't turn on properly, and I ended up putting the original lamp back in the TV, which was still working, but dim.

Well this morning when I turned on the set, everything was coming on as normal, then I heard a loud snap or pop sound, and the TV turned off - I tried turning it back on, and there was light from the lamp, but heard this high loud electrical whining sound, so I just unplugged it.  Decided to give the (newer) replacement lamp a try once again, and so I removed the old lamp assembly and noticed that there were some shattered fragments inside the lamp casing from the base of the arc tube having broken.  When I put it into the box these lamps come in, I noticed some of the shattered fragments fell out of the lamp into the box - is it possible that there was a rupture of the containment of the lamp (didn't notice a rupture of the casing) and that mercury vapor escaped into the air?  If so, how much mercury would be in a very old, near-dead lamp, and how dangerous is it to me?  I didn't notice any fragments inside the TV but I suppose some mercury vapor could've escaped into the TV as well.

In any case, the newer lamp is working fine, much brighter, and it is operating normally now. I'm just concerned about possible mercury vapor from the old lamp.  I put it back in its box, and placed it out on the back porch, out of the apartment. 


#2 of 4 Leo Kerr

Leo Kerr

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Posted November 30 2010 - 10:43 AM

Yes the lamp contains, or, in your case, contained, mercury.


On the other hand it was probably on order of micrograms, if that high.  Or, you probably get more from eating deep-sea fish than you would have by inhaling the fumes.


In short, a few words of advice:


1. dispose of the lamp as if a spent fluorescent lamp.  (I don't know if regular lamp pick-up points would collect these.  Alternatives include a haz-mat pick-up at the local county land-fills, or perhaps a place that collects batteries.)


2. don't panic.  (Okay, that should be in large, friendly letters, and probably should have been #1.)


Leo



#3 of 4 Mark Abrams

Mark Abrams

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Posted December 01 2010 - 03:26 AM

Whew!... thanks, Leo - that definitely makes me feel better.  I know they do haz-mat collections twice a year up here, but I don't think they're doing a general mass collection again until next Spring.  I suppose there's GOT to be some place that will take spent lamps - I'll just have to do some calling around.  Again, many thanks for the input!



#4 of 4 Leo Kerr

Leo Kerr

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Posted December 01 2010 - 10:20 AM

At work, we've had a surprising number of the small projector lamps fail catastrophically in the containers.  They seem a great deal more prone to doing that than the bigger, xenon lamps.. which is a good thing, considering how close to a bomb some of those things are!







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