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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Light Bulbs -- Warning!

You may think this post is about those rare moments of inspiration we sometimes get. I wish it were, but it's not. This post is about exactly what the title says -- light bulbs. The following is copied from the Daily Mail which, oddly enough, is a British news agency. I Googled for facts before I went spouting off and this article--dated April 27, 2008--was the first one I ran across.

Energy-saving light bulbs are so dangerous that everyone must leave the room for at least 15 minutes if one falls to the floor and breaks, a Government department warned yesterday.

The startling alert came as health experts also warned that toxic mercury inside the bulbs can aggravate a range of problems including migraines and dizziness.

And a leading dermatologist said tens of thousands of people with skin complaints will find it hard to tolerate being near the bulbs as they cause conditions such as eczema to flare up.

The Department for Environment warned shards of glass from broken bulbs should not be vacuumed up but instead swept away by someone wearing rubber gloves to protect them from the bulb's mercury content.

In addition, it said care should be taken not to inhale any dust and the broken pieces should be put in a sealed plastic bag for disposal at a council dump – not a normal household bin.

None of this advice, however, is printed on the packaging the new-style bulbs are sold in. There are also worries over how the bulbs will be disposed of.


I posted this because I want everyone to know about it. Hubby and I actually saw a news story warning of the hazards because of the mercury content on the Nightly News with Brian Williams about a week ago. I had planned to tell my mother and a few people because no one I know is aware of any of this and they all use the bulbs to some extent in their homes, then it promptly slipped my mind. Just goes to show how scatterbrained I am these days.

What really got me about this, besides the obvious dangers, is the fact that we live out in the boonies where there are no hazardous waste disposal places. So what are we supposed to do with these bulbs when we've ready to throw them away? You can bet your boots these babies are going right into the garbage dumps with the rest of the trash around here--and how many do you think stay unbroken from the crush in the back of a garbage truck.

Just one more thing to boggle the mind and unleash more poison on us. As if we don't already have enough in all the food products we consume.



  1. I've heard as much about them as well in our Kentucky Living magazine we get from our electric company.

    Hubby and I swear by only regular light bulbs at the moment. He said that if they could come up with some that are LED rather than these flourescent ones, he'd be more interested.

    Several people in my family use these and I've warned my mom. My dad accidently broke one when he was putting it in the light fixture, but he cleaned it up, without any of the recommended protection and threw it in the regular trash because it didn't say anything about proper handling and disposal.

    I've also heard that they don't always work well in rooms or areas that have a lot of moisture and I know from experience that they put off a very bizarre lighting that, to me, is unnatural...made everything look greenish and hazy to me. And they don't last as long as its been said they do.

    I just don't trust them, for all the reasons in the article you posted and for the reasons I've mentioned.

  2. Well, living in the big city as I do, I haven't heard anything on these light bulbs. I do have a couple, here in the house. So far, I haven't noticed any big savings on my light bill either. Thanks for the warning Dev!

  3. We've got a couple of the bulbs in use in our house, so when I saw the warnings on the news, I was surprised and angry. Though I don't know why it surprised me. How often these days are things put on the market that are harmful. But there should at least be some warning. Here's the thing (and I haven't checked into this yet, so take it for what it's worth), after we saw the story on the news, hubby told me these bulbs are going to be mandatory in future--and now I can't remember the year he told me.


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