Chi Guy asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

In fighting Global Warming, what will be the outcome of the mercury used in CFL energy saving bulbs?

CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for children and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish contaminated with mercury

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...

What Never to Do with a Mercury Spill

http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#whatne...

Update:

ioerr (below) Suggest you read the articles above. Quantity is not a disqualifier for mercury. Much like Anthrax only requires a few spores to be deadly.

14 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I expect LEDS to supplant CFL bulbs in a few years. CO2 is a non toxic, normal atmospheric gas, but we can thank libs for bringing heavy metals into our lives in the name of global warming, which will be the next thing they will have turned out to be wrong about.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Yes, but you have to make sure you buy CFL bulbs that are labeled as being able to work on dimmers. They have a special dimmable ballast built in. They are expensive though. It would be better to buy the newer LED light bulbs, most of which are completely dimmable on a standard dimmer switch. They are costly too, but getting cheaper all the time. I recently bought several for under $20 US each. They are around the same price as the dimmable CFL's so it would be a reasonable option. I like the LED bulbs a lot. Much less heat output than the CFLs plus they come to full brightness more quickly, have a nice light quality and will last for 10 years or more. I'm a trained lighting consultant so I know what I am talking about (which several other answerers apparently do not.)

  • DMG
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Good question, but some incorrect assumptions.

    We should respect mercury and the threat it poses. A considerable amount is released from the burning of fossil fuels, so the bulbs may result in a net decrease of mercury in the environment even if you broke every burnt out one given how much less fuel is burnt to produce electricity across the lifetime of the bulb.

    Another point, mercury poses a threat mostly once it has been concentrated up a food chain. The contaminated fish are at the top of a food chain that concentrates the mercury to a point where it becomes an issue.

    I agree that we really need to consider how we are going to dispose of these bulbs safely. I really don't want to have mine end up in a land fill possibly leaking mercury into some food chain channel.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You've bought in to the pop-culture of it all. Even China has resolved to remove mercury from the bulbs in the next 2 years, and quantities are already reduced. The only people actually at risk are those with a particular sensitivity to mercury - an allergy, if you will.

    I have a one year old who is perfectly healthy. I've broken a bulb with him in the house - although I did take reasonable precautions (opened up doors/windows for a while, disposed of the bulb quickly). Mercury is indeed dangerous, but in the quantities in the bulbs (regular light bulbs have it too), it's only dangerous if you bathe in it/eat them/ rub shards on it, unless you're allergic/sensitive to mercury at TINY levels.

    Thanks for parroting the popular press, and please remember that the EPA is completely useless.

    BTW, Chi, your local Ikea does the recycling.

    Source(s): Look it up on non-government/mainstream medial websites, there's plenty.
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  • Track1
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Our children and grandchildren will be eating it.

    I had heard about people having mercury poisoning from eating fish. I thought it was a natural element found in the ocean. I was surprised to find out most of it got into the ocean as run-off from factories and private use. The stuff never breaks down.

    BTW, as a child, I used to play with mercury. My grandfather used it when he was a plumber. It really is amazing stuff. Kinda like the characteristics of slime only it's liquid metal and doesn't stick to your fingers.Too bad it turned out to be highly toxic.

    One more point: the bulbs do not last near as long as they claim. I had to replace many of them already. I have been using them for almost a year. They are supposed to last like 5 years. Then again, they are made in China...I started buying regular bulbs again.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not much. There's very little in those bulbs.

    Don't crack them open and snort the gas inside I guess.

    BS. Anthrax is living organism. A tiny amount is deadly because it reproduces inside your body until it can do real damage.

    Mercury is just a metal, quanitity matters unless you're into homeopathy or somesuch idiocy. You might as well worry about all those old thermomenters still lying around. There's more mercury in one of those than a hundred light bulbs. I've got a thermostat with a couple mercury switches in it. Know how much mercury is in one of those? A lot. Worry about that.

    Using these bulbs means using less electricity, a lot less. That means less expansion of power generation plants, which means less atmospheric emissions. The benefits are obvious, the "danger" from mercury is largely imaginary.

  • 1 decade ago

    I've wondered that myself. Soon they will be the only kind of light bulbs available. I guess they figure they have 6 years to figure that out if the bulbs really last that long. It looks like we are trading one problem for another. Same way with nuclear power.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, No, No, No,........I can't take it any more!!!!........You can't start global warming until we have the global ice age they promised!

    Don't you see how this is all about money, not saving the planet. We have to BUY new, more expensive, light bulbs. We have BUY the alternate, and more expensive, fuel. We have to BUY carbon credits. CARBON CREDITS! What's that besides some money making scheme Al Gore can up with. I cannot believe how gullible liberals are. You say the Iraq war is all about money, but when a liberal idol comes up with a scam to get rich, you all open your wallets and start spending money.

  • 1 decade ago

    I haven't broken a light bulb in my lifetime that I can recall.

    Also better to use an intermediary technology than stay with the status quo.

    It's also important to not discredit all environmentally sound changes in household products. For example, all of my cleaners are now environmentally sound and all my paper products are made from recycled material. They're all safer now than the other cleaning products, like Windex with ammonia.

  • 1 decade ago

    light bulb companys will make a crap load.

    everybody trades a .25c bulb for a 5$ bulb in every light.

    and mandated by the government to boot.

    GLOBAL WARMING is never about protecting the enviroment. Its about sturring up people and making money off the chaos.

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