Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mercury in Florescent Bulbs

This article has some good information about disposing florescent light bulbs—which you have probably heard by now contain mercury. It’s interesting to hear some people complain about the mercury in these bulbs, adopting an attitude of annoyance because these products which are being marched out as helping against Global Warming harm the environment also. Well, strictly speaking, mercury in any amount may be problematical. And, we do need to learn how to dispose of these bulbs, especially (like Australia) if we intend on passing laws against incandescent bulbs, which waste a lot of electricity.

But, here’s the point about the mercury in florescent bulbs that those marching out this complaint seem to forget: If they continue to use incandescent bulbs, they are mostly likely doing so with electricity supplied by coal-burning power plants, which spew lots of mercury into the air, which falls back down into our waters—especially the Great Lakes. The amount of mercury in florescent bulbs pales against that mercury release when we burn coal to light incandescent bulbs. It seems prudent to use florescent bulbs, and maybe store them away (hey, they last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs) until you can dispose of them properly.

Check out: Home Depot lets you recycle long-lasting bulbs Democrat and Chronicle Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent less energy, last 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and over time yield sizable energy savings. But getting rid of them when they no longer work has been problematic. (Aug 4, 08) Democrat and Chronicle Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York

No comments: