The light at the end of the tunnel

… has been turned off by Congress to reduce America’s carbon footprint. And as usual they have their heads up their collective ass and are trying to save us from ourselves.

I heard on the news that Congress has mandated or is about to place a ban on the sale of incandescent lights by the year 2012. They are favoring “energy-saving” compact fluorescent bulbs. These spiral like bulbs are now in stores. And if you are like me You have been shell-shocked by their huge per-bulb cost compared to cheap incandescent bulbs.

Granted there are the potential dangers in incandescent bulbs themselves. You probably are not aware of it but we get exposed to heavy amounts of infrared light that’s generated by incandescent light bulbs. And it’s thought that the levels of infrared light generated by standard incandescent bulbs is actually quite toxic. It’s not yet been proven but it is believed that the infrared light from these bulbs is a main cause of cataracts and can seriously weaken our immune system. Even after considering the “dangers” of regular light bulbs, I am not willing to surrender my right to choose the light bulb I want. I am very concerned whenever our government starts peeling away my freedoms for the good of the general public.

I’m certain that these new CFL bulbs are any better from a health perspective than incandescent bulbs when it comes to avoiding infrared exposure. But I am against using CFLs from an environmental perspective. How can something that saves energy, lasts longer and supposedly saves us money be bad for the environment? These new CFL bulbs are poisonous.

Yep! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA – not really the brightest government group but they got this one right) acknowledges that when these compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) break, they can spread mercury everywhere. And we all know the hazards of mercury, right? Mercury is extremely hazardous to the health of children and pregnant women. CFLs are SO hazardous that the EPA says that if these bulbs happen to break on your carpet, the safest way to clean it up may require cutting out pieces of the contaminated carpet to avoid exposure to toxins.

If you don’t know whats so bad about mercury, here’s a quick refresher: it’s a metal that is liquid at room temperature and it occurs naturally. Once mercury is in your system it accumulates (that means your body cannot get rid of it) and does irreparable damage to our nervous systems. This is what makes mercury especially dangerous to young children (born and unborn). It plays havoc with the central nervous system that is still developing.

Now think on this – how often do light bulbs break around children and moms anyway? They just drop to the ground and break themselves, Right?

The hazard is not just the mercury that’s left on the ground. It’s the mercury that becomes airborne. A recent study indicated that a great deal of mercury is vaporized when the CFL (or any florescent light for that matter) shatters. The amount of mercury vaporized exceeds the federal exposure guidelines by 100 times! And it lingers. It doesn’t just go away. You actually have to ventilate the room to remove it. The mercury vapor is so dangerous that children, pets, and pregnant women must be kept away from the place where these CFLs break. In fact they really need to be evacuated from the room while the room is properly ventilated.

So I need to ask; is it really worth it to you and me, to bring this danger into our homes? Is it worth saving a few extra kilowatt hours every year? Congress does. So much so that they’ve banned the sale of incandescent bulbs everywhere in the U.S. beginning in 2012. Just imagine how many light bulbs there are in the U.S. Imagine just 1% of these millions of lights shattering in the home and at work. Let’s pretend it’s 2012 and every one of those broken bulbs is a CFL. And think about the all of the mercury spilled from each bulb. Think a little harder and you might see where I’m going with this – we are going to need an army of people in Hazmat gear to keep up with all the mercury spills. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. You can’t throw mercury away in the trash. It would seep into ground water from all the landfills. They will need to be disposed of “properly”. That leads us to more government regulation. These new and energy efficient CFLs are mercury time bombs that must be disposed of as hazardous material. Are you licensed to dispose of hazardous materials? Do you see the cost of the bulbs going up since the government now needs to establish “safe zones” for CFL disposal.

Let me ask, are these CFLs starting to sound like a bad idea yet?

Just like they always do, our government hasn’t thought this thing through. The upcoming ban on incandescent bulbs is an irrational act. It is political in nature. We are being forced by “maroons” (as Bugs Bunny would say) who’ve bought into the lie called “global warming” and they have a “Christ complex” and screwed up desire to try and “save the planet.” Think about it, would a few million less kilowatt hours per year suddenly bring back paradise here on earth. No! I don’t even want to go down the road of global warming. I’ve waffled back and forth before, but my feet are firmly planted that is is hogwash!

So, congress in their infinite wisdom has decided that the energy hungry incandescent light bulbs will be banished in order to put deadly mercury filled time-bombs into every home and business in America. And they will have to put in place legislature to police the proper disposal of mercury filled CFLs. All because Hollywood has jumped on the green bandwagon and the politicians think it’ll garner a few more bucks in the campaign coffers.

We have plenty of time between now and January 2012 for the lights to go on for consumers that these CFLs are not the answer. No I am not sure what the answer is, but I do know it’s not mercury filled CFLs! Me? I’m going out and stockpiling cheap-o light bulbs and candles ..maybe even a kerosene lamp or two.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The light at the end of the tunnel

  1. Pingback: The light at the end of the tunnel

  2. Margaret A. Clark

    After reading your article, how can NYSE&G Co. suggest we switch to CFL’s? Don’t they know of the dangers?

  3. No .. they are no bright enough … no pun intended …

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