More Reasons To Carefully Ditch CFL Light Bulbs

In 2008, I wrote an article about CFL (curly) light bulbs and their false-marketing of being "green".

Now there are more reasons to stop wasting your money on these bulbs:



Thursday, May 19, 2011 by: Sharon Stone, PhD

(NaturalNews) Are you one of the many who, in the effort to be eco-friendly and to save money, replaced your old incandescent light bulbs with environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) energy saving light bulbs? If so, beware. A new study conducted by conducted by Peter Braun at Berlin Germany's Alab Laboratory found these light bulbs contain poisonous carcinogens that could cause cancer. These include:

Phenol, a mildly acidic toxic white crystalline solid, obtained from coaltar and used in chemical manufacture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenol).

Naphthalene, a volatile white crystalline compound, produced by the distillation of coal tar, used in mothballs and as a raw material for chemical manufacture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphth...).

Styrene, an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon, obtained as a petroleum byproduct(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styrene).

The German scientists involved caution to keep these "light bulbs as far away as possible from the human environment." If used, they advise that you use the bulbs sparingly, in areas with good ventilation, and "definitely not in the proximity of the head," as the bulbs generate electrical smog, impacting human health.

The new German study supports similarly disturbing findings of Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, who found that the light emitted by CFLs increased the likelihood of women getting breast cancer by disrupting the body's production of the hormone melatonin.

What a dilemma for Americans. Following a 2007 bill signed into law by President George W. Bush, the US government will ban the sale of 100 watt traditional incandescent light bulbs and replace them with toxic CFLs by January 1, 2012, followed by the 75-watt version in Jan. 2013, and the 60- and 40-watt bulbs in Jan. 2014. This will follow on the heels of the Europeans who began to phase out incandescent bulbs in 2009 and by 2016 the EU also plans to ban halogen bulbs, forcing people to use compact fluorescents.

This legislation pits the lawmakers against environmental groups that strongly back the new standards," states USA Today news (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washin...), "which require manufacturers to produce bulbs that use 25% to 30% less energy than standard incandescents, starting Jan. 1."

That CFLs are harmful is not new information. It is well known that they contain toxic mercury, a neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. The bulbs are marketed as "safe" as long as the glass remains intact. The danger comes, reports FoxNews (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/...), if the bulbs are cracked, broken or not disposed of properly causing the toxic dust to spread into the air. Just one fluorescent light bulb contains enough mercury to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water and in humans to impair motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional stability.

Moreover, the "dirty energy" emitted by CFLs produces radiation that has been linked with migraine headaches, sleep abnormalities, fatigue, and other health defects while the flickering of fluorescent bulbs causes dizziness, headaches, weakness and illness in some sensitive people.

Sources for this article include:

Comments

  1. Hmmmm,does this also mean the full spectrum bulbs that emit the light most like daylight are also in this category? I have curly bulbs that are full spectrum and supposed to have a much longer lifespan,but if they have all this junk in them,I might end up getting rid of them a lot sooner.And if these are bad too,what in the heck *do* you use? Is there something out there that is actually considered safe?

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  2. I'm not sure what kind of bulb you have but if they are fluorescent then I would get rid of them...be sure not to just throw them out as they have to be properly recycled. You can use the standard incandescent bulbs (old style glass bulb with filament) or LED bulbs.

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  3. Yep,it's fluorescent alright,I just looked it up.It's a compact fluorescent light bulb that has what they call a colour temperature of 5000 k which is equivalent to noon time daylight,I thought I was actually doing a good thing by buying them,because I was told they save electrical energy,(and they were great in the wintertime,living in a basement apartment).So,now that I know they are indeed not what I should be using,how do you get rid of them safely,i.e.where do you bring them to get recycled?

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  4. Click on the first link in this article and take a look at the "energy savings" of these CFL's. In our cold climate they actually don't save you a cent. Here in NL you drop them off at Home Depot, Rona or MMSB, here is the link: http://www.mmsb.nf.ca/3rguide.asp?id=28#

    I don't like being wasteful so what I did with my bulbs after finding out their toxicity was use them in exterior lights until they die and then properly recycle them. Be sure to safely store them in something so they will not break.

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