Disposal of florescent ballasts – On the House

Disposal of florescent ballasts

By on June 10, 2014

Are you planning to replace a ballast in a fluorescent light? Don’t throw it away until you check something first. There’s toxic danger in some older models that you shouldn’t ignore.

Before you throw a ballast away, check for the words “No PCBs.” Without these words, you cannot conscientiously throw it in the trash; it might contain toxic chemicals called poly chlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. They’re harmful to the environment. They were widely used as a coolant in the electrical industry until the 1980s when the EPA banned PCB use in all products.

Without the “No PCBs label,” you must take it to a hazardous waste disposal facility. In addition, if it was connected with wires that are covered with cloth insulation, replace the entire light fixture, as well. This type of insulation deteriorates over time, which can be a fire hazard. 

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