Posts Tagged ‘LED’

CFL BULBS: MERCURY POISONING

The EPA-sponsored government ban on incandescent light bulbs, scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012, was put on hold on December 16, 2011, via de-funding of its enforcement that was contained in the legislation that funds the government for 2012.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)  and light-emitting diodes (LED) will replace incandescent bulbs.  CLF’s use only about 25% of the energy that incandescent bulbs use and LED’s last 10 times CLF’s. That’s why EPA wants them to replace incandescent bulbs…to save energy.  However, CLF’s have a problem: they contain the potent neurotoxin, mercury.  No amount of mercury is safe.

There are provisions for burned-out CLF bulbs to be safely discarded, but I estimate that at least 75% will end up in the trash, where they will shatter and the mercury leaked out.   The mercury will end up polluting our air, water and soil and neurological disorders will consequently increase.  With Alzheimer’s now affecting about 1/2 of people over 84 years of age, that age threshold for Alzheimer’s will get younger as incandescent bulbs are replaced with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs.

I think we need to ask: what is worse, mercury poisoning or the carbon emissions from carbon-based fuel burned to power incandescent lights.  So what should Congress do?  There’s no way that mercury-containing CFLs should be allowed into the environment.  Be sure to thank Congress and the President for this predicament.  It would be very enlightening to analyze mercury contamination in those countries that have already enacted anti-incandescent light bulb laws, like Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, Switzerland, and the European Union.

 

 

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