The dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs

This is an amazing story. With politicians and environmentalists talking about forcing people to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs, I will sure stock up on the old kind if we are ever forced to switch. The one group that would really benefit from a requirement that people have to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs is environmental clean up crews.

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? About $4.28 for the bulb and labor -- unless you break the bulb. Then you -- like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine -- could be looking at a cost of about $2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.
Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) -- a move already either adopted or being considered in California, Canada, European Union and Australia.
According to an April 12 article in the Ellsworth American, Mrs. Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter's bedroom -- it dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.
Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Mrs. Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her the CFL contained mercury and she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn, directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The DEP sent a specialist to Mrs. Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of 6 times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter.
The DEP specialist recommended Mrs. Bridges call an environmental clean-up firm which, reportedly, gave her a "low-ball" estimate of $2,000 to clean up the room. The room was then sealed-off with plastic and Mrs. Bridges began "gathering finances" to pay for the $2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn't cover the clean-up costs because mercury is a pollutant. . . .

See also an updated report here and this also here.

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Anonymous sj said...

See http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp for some skeptical analysis of the Maine story.

5/04/2007 10:56 PM  
Blogger tricia said...

I find the story ludicrously amazing. And it adds fuel to my outrage that "somebody" could try & take away our choices. FB's cause fatigue. I buy little decorative, low-wattage light bulbs. I don't like flourescent lights. They depress me. I have SAD. If "they" want to but FB's-fine-but how in the world are they going to tell me what to buy? i do believe freedom inplies "choice".

5/15/2007 6:06 PM  

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