About CFL Mercury

RE http://greenanswers.com/blog/251622/compact-fluorescent-bulbs-are-mercury-fears-overblown

As I am told this is a Blog,
my reply is a Comment rather than Question
(to Admin – I think you should separate site content more clearly in that way,
with “Comments” for Blogs and “Questions” for more neutral and factual content)

Well, Nick at least you are not personally attacking members of Congress this time…
I would certainly agree that there is a lot of hysteria around CFLs.
Unlike many others opposing the ban, I have some and like them for some uses
(which is also the point – ALL lights have advantages…)

Light bulbs don’t burn coal or (hopefully) release fumes – power plants might, but not all users are the cause of that: Bans strike unfairly on them.
Where there is a Problem – Deal with the Problem.

The quoted supposed energy savings from CFL use is at least debatable, http://ceolas.net/#li15cfx (given the official references, even if the site is clearly itself against a ban)

RE the idea Incandescent induced Coal emission mercury being worse than CFL related mercury,
This one keeps doing the rounds, 2 wrongs don’t make a right anyway,
but even EPA is moving away from that supposition, with new emission
regulation oversight under Lisa Jackson
It was never true anyway (http://ceolas.net/#li198x = again, see the references)
and of course, a CFL broken in a room is a lot more worrying to that user,
than something from a remote chimney.



  1. 0 Votes

    One Compact Florescent Lightbulb (CFL) contains approximately 4 milligrams of Mercury.  Although this element is a potential hazard to human health, the element is not released while the bulbs are unbroken and being used.  The Mercury within the CFLs becomes a hazard if a bulb breaks or if the bulb retires to a landfill.  Often the CFLs are put in the trash, rather than recycled properly, which in turn causes potential harm to the workers who are handling the CFLs enroute to the landfill. Wendy Reed, manager of EPAs Energy Star Program, says that if CFLs are recycled properly, they ultimately give off less Mercury and greenhouse gas emissions than a typical incandescent bulb.

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