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 Post subject: Mercury in energy-saving bulbs worries scientists
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:00 am 
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Mercury in energy-saving bulbs worries scientists

By Lisa Von Ahn

NEW YORK (Reuters) - There's an old joke about the number of people it takes to change a light bulb. But because the newer energy-efficient kinds contain tiny amounts of mercury, the hard part is getting rid of them when they burn out.

Mercury is poisonous, but it's also a necessary part of most compact fluorescent bulbs, the kind that environmentalists and some governments are pushing as a way to cut energy use.

With an estimated 150 million CFLs sold in the United States in 2006 and with Wal-Mart alone hoping to sell 100 million this year, some scientists and environmentalists are worried that most are ending up in garbage dumps.


Mercury is probably best-known for its effects on the nervous system. The Mad Hatter in the classic children's book "Alice in Wonderland" was based on 19th-century hat makers who were continually exposed to the toxin.

Mercury can also damage the kidneys and liver, and in sufficient quantities can cause death.

U.S. regulators, manufacturers and environmentalists note that, because CFLs require less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, they reduce overall mercury in the atmosphere by cutting emissions from coal-fired power plants.

But some of the mercury emitted from landfills is in the form of vaprous methyl-mercury, which can get into the food chain more readily than inorganic elemental mercury released directly from a broken bulb or even coal-fired power plants, according to government scientist Steve Lindberg.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:25 pm 
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But of course, the one thing they should be telling consumers is the future impact. But as per usual, it's hidden from them so some slimy capitalists can line up and make money off it. There's no end it seems to the traps and snares waiting for our children- like the LOVE canal in NY. As long as the corporation makes profit all is legal.

One good thing about global climate change- Corporations won't survive it!

But maybe there is a glimmer of hope out there for some products-
http://www.steorn.net/orbo/validation/

These people got smart and took their invention to the public before some corporation could have it "Disappeared"! :shock:

Hopefully by 2008 we'll have an answer!

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