Monday, April 30, 2007

Greenies Forgot To Tell Us That CFL Bulbs Can Kill Us

10 comments

Not to mention cost us a lot of money.

The move to ban incandescent light bulbs, and replace them with the more eco-friendly CFL bulbs is potentially dangerous and expensive. If you're clumsy ... CFL bulbs are more expensive, and far dangerous than their counterparts. Get a load of this story.

Financial Post:

How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labour -- unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

That's right ... over two thousand dollars. That's if you don't get sick from the mercury poisoning.

According to an April 12 article in The Ellsworth American, 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, Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter. The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm, which reportedly gave her a "low-ball" estimate of US$2,000 to clean up the room. The room then was sealed off with plastic and Bridges began "gathering finances" to pay for the US$2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn't cover the cleanup costs because mercury is a pollutant.

Now this means we will need to pass legislation to require insurance companies to cover the cost of mercury cleanup which means our rates will go up. Remember, they are trying to make these CFL bulbs required in all homes. They are requiring that we take a dangerous substance (mercury) into our homes. Do you have any idea how many laws have been passed to prevent mercury poisoning in this country? Now they are going to require us to have it around?

In case you are wondering how much the true cost of her breaking this bulb was ... it will take her 11 years to recoup her cost of breaking that on bulb. That is based on the numbers that a CFL bulb will save you $180 a year. Hardly more economical.

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kaycee said...
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All the while I thought that using CFL reduces the greenhouse effect. I should use it with caution. But I guess this is a better alternative to the incandescent one.

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