Well must of had a hard time with the stored 1300 tons of toxic mercury. Vaccines not using it fast enough! Ah, ban the plain old light bulb and force the general public to use the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. That way some one can still make some moola ($). Now of course comes all the special laws on how to dispose the CFL bulbs. Can’t have them winding up in the plain good garbage can we! I mean we cant dump toxic mercury in the rubbish fill sites can we! Oh, of course it will be expensive to handle, so charge for special pick up of disposable CFL and fluorescent tubes. Oh shucks, not supposed to trash the regular fluorescent tubes even now! Watch what happens next, Special Hazardous Waste license with each sale, for $10.00! Where does all the nonsense stop, and common sense kick in again. I sure don’t have the answer, but spreading the toxic mercury all over the country by forcing the public to buy compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, defies logic and common sense.
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But federal light-bulb law suffers from low wattage By Shane Cory January 4, 2008 ”Outlaw light bulbs, and only outlaws will have light bulbs.” This phrase, in the spirit of the catchy quip used among pro-gun activists, has taken on a new meaning after President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 last month. Buried in the 822 pages of the bill, among numerous new energy regulations on everything from automobiles to televisions, was a plan to ban the light bulb. Yes, the light bulb.
Caught up in the fervor of ”going green,” Congress saw it expedient to replace the notoriously inefficient incandescent bulb in favor of the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, which can save hundreds of dollars in long-term energy costs. The plan would begin in 2012 with a phase out of incandescents completed by 2014.
Phasing out incandescent bulbs is one of the easiest ways to enhance energy efficiency in everyday life, so at first, switching from incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs seems like a logical step that any consumer would make, as some already have. Unfortunately, things are not always as simple as changing a light bulb, especially when the federal government is involved.
Banning light bulbs can’t help but seem comical. What did a light bulb ever to do to anyone? Yet, when one gets past the surreal absurdity of the whole situation, the implications are anything but a laughing matter. In fact, the light bulb is a very alarming microcosm of the excessive intrusion of government into the private lives of citizens and how far people have allowed the government to go.
When the founding fathers came together in 1787 at Independence Hall to write the U.S. Constitution, they created a government with limited powers, concerned chiefly with protecting the individual rights of American citizens. Now, more than 220 years later, there are very few things a citizen can do that are free from government regulation. From the low-flow toilets in bathrooms to the lights in ceilings, some form of government regulation dictates nearly every facet of people’s life. This is a far cry from the aphoristic statement: That government is best which governs least.
Switching from incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs is not like switching air fresheners. CFL bulbs take longer to warm up, the coloration is different and they contain toxic amounts of mercury. Broken CFL bulbs carry the risk of mercury poisoning for those who come in contact with them, and proper disposal methods need to be followed to prevent environmental pollution. To get the full life out of your CFL bulb (as opposed to an incandescent bulb whose purchase price is much lower), the government advises consumers to keep it turned on for at least 15 minutes.
Some local and state governments have banned the disposal of CFL bulbs in the trash, fearing CFL bulbs may poison waste management employees or contribute to soil contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency has even admitted that not enough has been done to ensure that disposal of CFL bulbs is convenient and safe.
Compact Fluorescents: Low Mercury Bulbs
Compact fluorescents are an efficient lightingsource, but the bulbs do contain mercury (usually around 5 mg) and shouldbe disposed of properly. To find a place to dispose of them, searchfor locations by zipcode here.The amount of mercury contained in them is muchless thanthe amount of mercury released during the production electricity neededto run incandescent bulbs. Philips makes low-mercurycompact fluorescents, and other low-mercurybulbs using their “Alto”technology.
EcoLEDs: Mercury-Free LED Bulbs
A start-up company is offering mercury-free, energy efficient, high-brightness LED lights to replace typical light bulbs in homes and offices. The EcoLED lights use 1/10th the electricity of incandescent light bulbs, and are estimated to last 50,000 hours before burning out (approximately a decade of normal use). Unlike compact fluorescent bulbs, these bulbs contain no mercury. Note that these bulbs produce a directional light, so they may not work in every place in your home