Your "Green" Is Killing Me


By captainfish,


You know, when the hype started growing about compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), people were all excited about the reduction in the production of carbon dioxide produced from the decreased energy needs. But, there are a few things that they refused to tell you.

It's like someone telling you that putting a snake in your home will do wonders by keeping the rodents away. It will save you hundreds of dollars by not having to purchase rat traps or using nasty poisons around your home. What they don't tell you is that you are buying and placing a dangerous and deadly snake in your home.

These CFL's are no different.

We are already aware of the dangers from broken mercury-filled bulbs. Some toxic waste facilities state that they want $2,000 dollars to just clean up a broken bulb. Why?? It's MERCURY!!!!

Mercury is a hazardous, toxic, deadly heavy-metal that government's the world over are working to eradicate from our lives.

And yet, these same governments are pushing, and have mandated, laws that force us to buy mercury-containing products and place them in our homes and around our children.

And like the snake you bought to save money, this decision has darker problems. Namely, the fact that all of these CFL's that have been created are made by removing mercury from the ground and processing it in order to construct the CFL's. Don't think that this is a benign enterprise:

Energy efficiency for the First World comes at a high cost for factory workers in China, with high rates of mercury poisoning being reported among employees in the plants that make compact fluorescent light bulbs.
It gets worse. The snake is angry:
According to a recent study by the Chinese health ministry, however, mercury exposure is widespread among the workers making these bulbs. At one factory in Jinzhou, 121 of 123 employees contained a dangerous body burden of mercury, with one worker carrying 150 times the government-mandated threshold. At a factory in Anyang, 35 percent of workers had suffered from mercury poisoning and the plant was dumping mercury directly into the local water supply.

Interviews conducted by the London Times turned up hundreds of cases of dangerous mercury exposure and even hospitalization, but many workers are afraid to complain for fear of losing their jobs.

The paper also turned up a case where 68 of 72 workers at one factory had required hospitalization for mercury poisoning.

If 9 million CFL's have been sold in the California alone, that means about 100 lbs of mercury has been removed from the ground and placed into the environment ready to do untold toxic damage.

And this from THE Greenest state in the Union???

If even one bulb breaks out in the open, such as in a landfill, that ONE BULB can contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water. Not to mention the soils as well.

Oh, but the EPA has the answer. And, it only takes 19 steps to safely clean up a mercury spill from a broken CFL. Meanwhile, while you are going to be forced to buy those mercury bulbs after 2011 (if sanity does not return to this nation), the EPA has instructions for what you are to do should you have mercury in your house.

Ironic, huh?

  • All mercury-containing products or containers of mercury should be placed inside a larger container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Kitty litter or oil-absorbent matter should be placed around the product to protect it from breaking or sudden shocks.
  • Clearly label storage container as "Mercury - DO NOT OPEN."
  • If you must wait for a hazardous waste collection day, store products safely in their original containers with the labels intact, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Transport container to a household hazardous collection center in a cardboard box. Secure them so that they do not tip over. This will minimize shifting or sliding during sudden stops or turns.
  • Transport containers in the back of a pick-up truck or in a car trunk. If you must transport in the passenger compartment, make sure there is adequate ventilation.

Who said that the government can't have a sense of humor?

But, what if you do break a bulb? Who do you call? The EPA? No, they have no clue other than giving you steps to follow. According to those steps, you are to take those bulbs to a certified recycling center. Many times, having to pay $$ to have a single hazardous-to-your-health, toxic heavy-metal-carrying, non-freely chosen CFL bulb disposed of. Many states have only one certified recycling center per county, or worse, one for the entire state.

Fortunately, many businesses are stepping up to the plate to help citizens recycle these hazardous neurotoxin anti-Third World CFL's. Well, for at least 8 hours they did.

Yep. That was back in 2007.

Home Depot has stated that you can recycle by handing over one of these human-killers to one of its associates. Shows how much they care for their workers.

Here is something to think about: If Home Depot and Walmart alone sold nearly 300 million CFL's in 2007 (75 plus 193), that would mean nearly 1.5 tons of mercury were placed in America's homes that year. This does not count Europe and other "enlightened" countries.

And that's 1.5 tons each year. Every year! More and more mercury entering our homes and our environment.

Government. There to protect you.

[Update] It would seem that GE is working on new incandescent bulbs that will be just as efficient as CFL's.

Without the mercury.

We'll see if Congress reverses course and bans CFL's and their mercury and in turn mandate the use of GE's new incandescent bulbs.


Maybe its not a good idea to put Mercury in tooth fillings or vaccines either.

Maybe we should use candles as light source...

Well, use LED's. They use 1/10th of the energy used by fluorescent lightbulbs, last as 5 times as more and don't have any mercury and are cheaper to manufacture.

That's right! Go back to incandescent light bulbs. Only GE will be the beneficiary of that. Maybe you kiss their asses.

What's killing you is knowing that there are other choices and you just made the wrong one.


Don't we still have a right to be inefficient?

No, you do not have the right for personal choice in this leftist liberal pro-choice environment. By the way... you shouldn't use candles because of all the particulates and gaseous pollution emitted.

And, LED's are what should be mandated and pushed to be used as they are by far more environmentally conscious and efficient to use. (If anything should be mandated) Plus, they don't have any of that mercury issue.

But, I believe people should make that choice for themselves. Where in the Constitution does it say that the Gov't can dictate what I must buy in the free-market, all the while banning a product just because it is "unliked"?

But, why let facts get in the way.

I cannot believe what I'm reading. I cannot trust anyone so it seems. By the way, the government would not be banning a product in the free market because it is "unliked" but because it is destroying the earth and the people on it. I'm starting to take the opinion of my boyfriend: fuck it, let all the stupid people in the world kill themselves. I don't think I'll have kids. This world is going straight to shit.

By the way... does everyone on here realize that Minnesota is among the top most polluted states in America now? The clean air space and water space available is diminishing at a drastic rate--and I feel like I'm the only one that is being kept up at night because of it. Stop producing, stop consuming! I'm telling myself this, too.

Anyone care to guess what the number one single source of mercury polution in the U.S. is? That's right boys and girls - It's coal-burning power plants! A full 40% of domestic atmospheric mercury emissions in 1999 came from power plants, to the tune of 48 tons. The author states that the 9,000,000 bulbs sold in California last year means that 100 pounds of mercury was "removed from the ground and placed into the environment ready to do untold toxic damage". Not quite accurate. That figure is based on the old standard of 5mg of mercury per bulb. Today's bulbs average about 3mg or less. Why? Mercury is expensive and manufacturers have figured out how to use less in order to increase profits. In addition, as the bulb is used, most of the mercury becomes bound to the inside of the lightbulb. The EPA estimates that if a used CFL is broken, about 0.7 milligrams of mercury is released to the atmosphere. Also keep in mind that the mercury in that bulb can only do "untold damage" if it is not disposed of properly. Now consider if those 9 million bulbs had not been sold and 60 watt incandescent bulbs had been installed instead. I won't bore you with all the math, (the figures are out there if you care to look them up) but in a nutshell, that 60 watt bulb would require almost 500 pounds of coal to power it over an 8000 hour period, which is a little below the estimated 10,000 hour lifespan of a CFL. Burning that amount of coal would result in, on average, 5.8 milligrams of mercury being released. Quick math tells me that this would mean that those 9 million bulbs would cause 114 pounds of mercury to be dug up from the ground and then released into the environment where it would undoubtedly do harm. Even assuming every last CFL that was sold was broken and a full 5mg of mercury was released from each, had the CFL's not been available an additional 14 pounds of mercury would have entered the atmopshere. And consider this - If a CFL is improperly disposed of, where does the mercury end up? In a landfill. A regulated, monitored, sealed landfill. Where does the mercury from a coal-burning power plant end up? Wherever the wind blows it.

So with that in mind, my question is this - Would you rather know that the snake is in your house, but safely contained, or would you rather have the snake lurking outside your home without you even being aware of it?

September 2012

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This page contains a single entry by Elmer published on September 21, 2009 8:26 AM.

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