The VaporLok Advantage


VaporLok™ products were developed in response to the promulgation of the Universal Waste Regulations by the USEPA in 1995, which now regulates other mercury filled products including thermometers, fluorescent lamps and devices. The Company is dedicated to providing packaging solutions that overcome the potential dangers of handling mercury-containing products, including fluorescent light bulbs.

As rising energy costs become increasingly important factors in consumers' and businesses' purchasing selections, fluorescent lamps have increased in popularity. Fluorescent lamps are four to six times more efficient than their incandescent counterparts and emit about the same amount of visible light, all while lasting an estimated 8 to 15 times longer and saving significant energy costs. However, fluorescent lamps are fragile and, upon breaking, these lamps release mercury vapor that can be detrimental to handlers' health—from those involved with handling new bulbs to people involved with storing, packaging and shipping used lamps. This has created an increased demand for services that provide easy to use solutions that address this new environmental awareness.

The first Universal Waste Containers were used to ship fluorescent lighting. They were simple corrugated boxes or plastic pails, with some including a plastic bag inside the container. Since the contents were made of glass, they were designed primarily to contain the contents within the shipping container. Since mercury begins to vaporize at 70 degrees F, we realized that packaging improvements were needed to address the issue of potential mercury vapor release in the likely event of breakage during accumulation and transport.

At about the same time, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection published a study dealing with the potential exposure of mercury due to broken bulbs in the workplace in the "Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association." This study concluded that... "Elevated airborne levels of mercury could exist in the vicinity of recently broken bulbs, and under certain conditions, mercury concentrations could exceed occupational exposure limits." This study validated our concerns that a better method of containment was required to protect consumers and transporters against the release of mercury in case of breakage and to satisfy both OSHA and Universal Waste regulations. Our patented recycling solution that includes our zip-sealed Mercury VaporLok® foil bag was the answer.


A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, published in the same journal in their March 2009 issue, further validated our concerns. This study found that most containers used today for storage and transportation of used fluorescent lamps do not adequately protect against mercury vapors emitted from broken lamps. The study tested five box designs and the only design capable of passing ALL current Federal AND State regulations and guidelines used our Mercury VaporLok® bag.

The chart above shows how the Mercury VaporLok® container performed compared to other container designs when tested against OSHA and other more stringent State personnel exposure standards.