Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Dangers of CFLs?

By now, most regular readers understand I am concerned with the environment. As such, I am a zealous advocate of compact fluorescents(CFLS), which are way more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.





In fact, if everyone purchased one CFL, it would have the same environmental effect as eliminating 800,000 cars from the road. In last weeks Wall Street Journal, there is an article about the dark side of green bulbs. CFLS do contain a trace level of Mercury, about the same amount as the tip of a ballpoint pen.

I would say that you obviously would not want to place a CFL in your mouth...But you already have. Older thermometers contain 10 times the mercury of a CFL....


With a lamp life of 7 years with 4 times the efficiency of an incandescent, CFLs will certainly save money, energy and the environment..Look at the video for a practical demonstration of the difference in energy consumption.

If a bulb breaks, you do not have to call the HAZMAT squad, here is the skinny:

To recycle a CFL...Go to lamprecycling.com(we will start as recycling center in March)


According to the EPA, if a bulb breaks(I will paraphrase):

1. open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes

2. Carefully scoop up the fragments with a stiff paper or cardboard(use rubber gloves and wipe clean with a a damp paper towel) Do not use a vacuum or a broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces

3. Place all cleanup materials in 2 sealed bags

4 If fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet then:

5. First remove all materials you can without using a vacuum. Sticky tape can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.

6. If vacuuming is still needed after all visible materials are broken. Remove the vacuum bag and place in 2 sealed bags


Again, I am somewhat paraphrasing, so consult the WWW.EPA.GOV and your local state
for more detailed guidelines for disposal...I do not want to completely minimize the risks, but the potential savings in energy is, in my opinion, too great to ignore.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!

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