Answered By: Regan Brumagen
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016     Views: 34

From what I've been able to find, the composition of fluorescent tubing can vary, depending on the manufacturer, although lead oxide does not seem to be an ingredient in any recipes that I have seen. According to the Schott Guide to Glass, fluorescent tubes are "made of soda-alkaline earth-silicate glass." (pg 144, 2nd ed.) Some recipes for fluorescent tubing can be found at these websites: (scroll down to Tubing for fluorescent lighting) (page 17 on the .pdf file)

The Schott Guide did say that lead glass is typically used in both incandescent and fluorescent bulbs to "seal the electric leads into the sockets of the tube" (describing fluorescent tubing). In describing incandescent bulbs, Schott says that the "electric insulation of bulb glass at operating temperatures is not high enough, however, so a highly insulating glass must be used for the 'socket' through which the sealed-in wires are fed. Lead glasses with a 20 to 30% PbO content are used for this application." (pg. 144, 2nd ed.)

If you need more specifics, you might try contacting one of the following libraries or organizations that has a larger technical focus than we do (we specialize in the art and history of glass, rather than the technology, so our technical collection is rather small):

1)The Scholes Library at Alfred University, New York State College of Ceramics. They have a substantial collection of technical information about glass. Pat Lacourse answers technical reference questions ( Their reference desk number is: 607-871-2951. Their library catalog is available for searching on the web:

2) The Glass Division of the American Ceramic Society (Columbus, Ohio) Website: The American Ceramic Society, P.O. Box 6136, Westerville, Ohio 43086-6136 ; Phone: 614/890-4700 ; FAX: 614/899-6109 ; E-Mail:

3) The Society of Glass Technology in Sheffield, UK: Website:; Don Valley House, Savile Street East, Sheffield S4 7UQ, UK ;Tel: +44(0)114 263 4455 ; Fax +44(0)114 263 4411 ; e-mail:

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