Understanding The Dangers of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

By  worldtruth.tv

You see them in every grocery store and home center – those funny-looking curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that are rapidly replacing the old round bulbs. And pretty soon, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 kicks in, requiring bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2012 to 2014, and 70 percent more efficient by 2020, effectively phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs as a way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy efficiency of CFLs may be significant, but unlike traditional light bulbs, there is a hidden danger sealed inside each little bulb that requires special handling and disposal.

Mercury – a potent, developmental neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effects. Even at low levels, mercury is capable of causing a number of health problems including impair motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. Higher or prolonged exposure can result in much more serious health problems.

CFLs are marketed as “safe” and don’t pose any health risks as long as the glass remains intact. The danger comes if the bulbs are cracked, broken or not disposed of properly. Although it sounds like a miniscule amount – 4 to 5 milligrams – there is enough mercury in just one fluorescent light bulb to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

So what does that mean if a CFL is cracked or breaks in our homes, releasing mercury vapors in an enclosed area?

Consumers – especially those with young children –need to know what to do when a CFL breaks and the proper way to dispose of used bulbs. It’s no longer as easy as changing a light bulb.

Mercury Warning:

Compact fluorescent  light-bulbs  contain very small amounts of mercury and care must be taken in disposing of them or when they break.

The EPA suggests the following:
o People and pets should immediately leave the room.

o Open a window and/or door and Air out the room for 5 to 10 minutes.

o Turn off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system.

o Thoroughly collect broken glass and visible powder using wet cloths. Never use vacuum cleaners or brooms.

o Put all debris and cleanup materials in a sealable container and put outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Do not leaving bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

o If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

Also check out these  frequently  asked  questions about CFLs below

Frequently Asked Questions  Information on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Mercury  November 2010

All of this needs to be done to protect people from the tiny amount of mercury in one fluorescent light bulb. Which begs the question, are these lights really safe and are the risks worth it?

Another equally important concern is what happens to the environment – the air, soil and water – when tons of discarded bulbs, along with the mercury, are dumped into local landfills?

The threat posed by billions of broken CFLs lying in landfills has resulted in some communities requiring their citizens to discard used and broken CFLs in designated recycling centers or in a hazardous-waste collection facility.

Given the known deleterious effects caused by mercury, it would seem logical to assume there will be some unintended consequences resulting from the switch to compact fluorescent lights.

Only time will tell how significant those consequences will be.

If you are concerned about the possible health risks associated with CFLs, LED or halogen lights are good alternatives. Both cost a little more but are as efficient as CFLs and can be recycled easily.

For more information about mercury and compact fluorescent light bulbs go to  http://www.epa.gov/cfl/

For information about your communities recycling program go to  http://epa.gov/cfl/cflrecycling.html

Compact Fluorescent Lamps are designed to fit standard light sockets as an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs have spiraling or elongated U-shaped tubes known as a single-envelope unit; the double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs have the tubes inside a glass bulb. Consumers should be aware of dangers associated with CFL bulbs before bringing the units into the home, school or workplace.

Mercury Content

  • Although CFLs are considered extremely energy efficient, each bulb contains about 5mg “elemental mercury,” says U.S. Army-Ft. Wood. General Electric, a manufacturer of CFL bulbs, notes the amount equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen. GE further claims the mercury is an “essential, irreplaceable element” that allows the bulb to perform as an efficient light source, posing no danger during regular use. Elemental mercury is a bioaccumulative neurotoxin that effects multiple neurological responses. High exposures may affect the kidneys, lead to respiratory failure and death. In addition, mercury accumulates in the environment, vaporizing into the air and leaching into water supplies.

Radiation Emissions

  • CFL bulbs are subject to scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as electronic products that emit ultraviolet radiation. However, as of May 2011, the FDA did not have “specific standards or annual reporting requirements” for manufacturers because the bulbs are considered of little concern, having insignificant levels of radiation. CFLs emit a small amount of UVA, UVB and infrared radiation, according to the FDA. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency tested CFLs from various manufacturers. With the exception of people with photosensitive medical conditions, such as lupus, ARPANSA noted that CFLs are suitable for use at distances beyond 10 inches. However, when using desktop and other close lamps, it’s advisable to utilize double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs.

Electrical Sensitivity

  • Electrical sensitivity, also known as electrical hypersensitivity and electromagnet hypersensitivity, is a recognized disability with chronic and systematic reactions to electromagnet fields given off by wiring, electrical equipment, transformers and florescent lighting — including CFLs. Approximately 8 million Americans experience electrical sensitivities, according to the Research & Training Center on Independent Living. It causes nervous system symptoms such as headache, fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances; skin symptoms including prickling, burning sensations and rashes, and pain and ache to muscles, as well as many other health problems. CFLs contribute to electrical sensitivity by emitting electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Electromagnet radiation, also known as electromagnetic frequencies — EMF — is a naturally occurring energy. Technological advances such as CFL bulbs have increased the EMF in modern environments. The electromagnet radiation bundle includes dirty electricity — sometimes called dirty power — electrical pollution and radio waves. Most of the EMF fields experienced every day and emitted from CFL bulbs are non-ionizing radiation and considered safe. However, for people with electrical sensitivity, CFL bulbs have significant accumulative dangers, according to ElectroSensitivity UK News.

Source –  worldtruth.tv

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  • Eric Champoux

    I just heard about those light bulbs that are not programmed to die and save up to 92% compare to normal light bulbs and 70% compare to fluo compacts… see oepelectrics.com … expensive though… but the story of the company and the inventor of the bulb is interesting…

    • kiai

      Everything that become produced in large quantities becomes less expensive. If people who can afford it “invests” in it, the price will go down.

  • lighthouse

    That’s only the start of it,
    a lot more problems of CFL mercury and radiation
    as documented and referenced on Ceolas net
    CFL Safety:
    Home Safety (Fire Risk etc) Radiation — Health
    The CFL Mercury Issue
    Breakage — Recycling — Dumping — Mining — Manufacturing — Transport — Power Plants

  • Name (required)

    i have had florescent bulbs explode one me when they burn out – scary!

  • Douglas Nusbaum

    If you compare the amount of mercury put into the environment by burning coal over the lifetime of a CFL to the amount in a CFL, you will find that the former is greater than the later. Except the Hg from coal goes into the air water and food chain, often in some form that can get into the body. The Hg from a CFL goes into a landfill, as an insoluble metal, thus, essentially returning to the earth.

  • Leland Somers

    I think some of the so called dangers are overrated. Some of them come from “studies” that are suspicious in their origins. The fact is that reducing electric consumption has to be balanced against the known dangers of production of electric energy with fossil fuels and in particular with coal, which accounts for the vast majority of electric energy in most countries, France is a major exception.As for the danger of mercury poisoning, I’m deeply suspicious of much of this scare as well. When I was a child, before anyone was going bonkers over lots of these things, like lead in paint, we used to gather old broken thermometers – they were all filled with mercury – and shake the mercury out of them to get the biggest puddle of mercury we could. The game was to hit the puddle and see who could get the biggest number of small puddles, then move them all back into one big puddle again. Mercury is fascinating – especially to little boys who know that it is a metal – y’a can’t do that with iron. PS all of us ended up with masters degrees or higher.

    • Debbie

      any health issues among you?

    • mickey5020

      Yea i remember playing with mercury once , I have arthritis but that is it and that runs in the family . I know it is not good for you but i am ok .

    • everythingearthly

      Wondering also about the health issues among the Mercury puddle playing children? As far as fluorescent lights I know many people who have an aversion to them because of the way they make them feel as soon as they are exposed, including myself. Always had a horrible feeling, physical aversion to this kind of lighting as soon as I walk into a room full of fluorescent lighting. They make me uncomfortable and if I have to spend all day under them sure to feel sickly and have a headache. So must be something to it all. I think we just need to be informed and not follow blindly whatever is pushed on us. And this article is just giving us some information to decipher on our own with our own brains. I suppose if a person decides that playing with mercury puddles suits them, then so be it, their individual decision based on their own experience and a Master degree or higher to boot!

    • Jennifer DeFusco

      This is Barrie Trower, a retired British navy seal. He’s a radiation expert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z99_SzoXZdY

  • kiai

    LED lights are being produced less and less expensively. And they are more efficient than CFLs.

    • Lynn

      Those things are way too bright!! A lot of cars have those for headlights and it’s like they have the high beams on. Not very good idea.

      • PayingAttention

        Please spend a little time learning about the new LED lights which have a a wide range of uses – I think you will be surprised.

  • On top of the mercury issue, there is the light-spectrum issue. Unlike traditional lightbulbs whose light spectrum is complete and more or less emulates the sun, CFLs do not emit any yellow. In countries where there is little sunlight to be had already it is especially harmful for people to be spending long hours exposed to CFL light.

  • Peter

    Hi, you may think CFL light bulbs are a good idea to save energy but read up about the mercury they contain. So the few dollars you save could go towards your funeral plan. LED lights use less power are brighter and do not contain deadly mercury. What you ask they are encased in glass these mercury lights. Well the glass they are made of is paper-thin with the constant On-Off over a period of months or years the glass gets what they call micro cracks. Water will not pass through these micro cracks but what they call Nano Particles of mercury vapour can. Added to this if you have one on a bench top within a couple of foot you will get skin cancer from the high levels of UV. Also the high strobing action and the dim light of these CFL bulbs can cause depression and eyestrain even in children as young as 3 years old. So LED lights are your safer and cheaper option that will save you more off your electricity bill

    What the real problem for the US and many countries around the world is the perceivement that man made carbon is the main driver causing global warming. Completely wrong. The more natural and man-made carbon there is the more stable the planet. Cutting back will actually de-stabilizes the planet. Proof all the money and all the effort made around the world has only had one effect. It is getting worse weatherwise. This is also causing destabilization of many nations around the world who are bringing in Taxes and new inefficient technology to try to fix an unfixable problem.

    Course the climate change from man-made carbon bandwagon will continue, why Money! Would it not be better if the US and other countries poured their effort and resources into getting their nations back on track?

    Real truth is the so-called Green Movement around the world could be likened to a new and more dangerous Communist Party that is damaging and destabilizing not only the world but also the free nations of our planet.

  • This is all about agenda 21 and population control. Most of this information came from my blog, Which I appreciate people passing the awareness forward, but they also gotta understand the underlying agenda by the Elite and the NWO. Research agenda 21 population control and georgia guidestones commandments of the Antichrist.

  • Emile Barry

    Cell phones are only the tip of the iceberg so they may not be responsible for brain cancer as much as modern compact fluorescent light bulbs, modern long fluorescent light bulbs, flat screen TVs and optical scanners. Grocery stores and department stores are saturated with radio frequency energy from these devices as I have shown on a video I created on the subject. People work 8+ hours a day under these lights and get a significant amount of radiation which could be linked to brain cancer. The short version of the video is on Utube called “CFLB short version” but I can provide you with the 40+ minute version if you are interested.

  • dianne Whitehead

    Can you tell me if the bulbs that look like these but are called white light are the same as these CFLs

  • Terrilee
  • PayingAttention

    We have experienced the same issues.

  • everythingearthly

    Strongly agree!