Are they safe? Energy saving light bulbs?

Posted on July 3, 2008. Filed under: Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Are they safe? Energy saving light bulbs?

Watch this YouTube video and be amazed (click on the link above).

Where does the mercury go when the 1,000s and 1,000s of bulbs get squashed and break in the landfills (the pink box in the above graph represents the amount of mercury in a CFL)?  To the water table?  Our drinking water?  What is your reaction?  How important is it when a bulb does break and the mercury is aerosolized and available for inhalation? 

(From Wikipedia: In China and Tibet, mercury use was thought to prolong life, heal fractures, and maintain generally good health. China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di  was driven insane and killed by mercury pills (failing liver, poison, brain death) intended to give him eternal life.) 

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One Response to “Are they safe? Energy saving light bulbs?”


This was a bit frightening. Never thought about flourescent lights being an environement hazard. I know I don’t want to be inhaling or ingesting mercury but that seems inevitable if we’re all using CFBs in a few more years. And disposal sounds like it hasn’t been thought through real well yet.

I read recently where there’s a place where several oceans/seas converge and, because of their currents, there is a trapped current that swirls pretty much in place. The scary thing is that plastics that have gotten into or onto the seas, and they don’t break down and they don’t sink, they’ve formed a huge swirling mass of plastic trash that’s caught in this current-induced entrapment and there’s lots and lots of the guck in/on the ocean. Not biodegradeable so doomed to swirl forever.

Is that something like what we might be looking forward to with the use of, and huge release of, mercury in our new “green” (is this a joke?) compact flourescent bulbs? Someone at work told me it had to be the flourescent bulb lobby with big bucks who’ve paid the politicians off. Yikes!

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