It's time to start hoarding incandescent light bulbs since our trusty politicians are converting us to the new compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). I purchase at least two boxes/week when I go shopping. I figure by the time 2012 rolls around, I should have a closet full of them.
The geniuses in Washington are always looking out for us and our welfare in the nanny state. Too bad that most decisions they make turn out to be the wrong ones. From the sound of things, the CFL will be no different.
Check out some of the potential dangers from the CFLs, via the American Thinker:
The CFL Fraud
By Edmund Contoski
"A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010. 'Those are the lights everybody's been telling us to use,' said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector. 'It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.' Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage. The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire. Link
'"Bulb explodes without warning," reported NBCactionnews.com, May 21, 2010.
"Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair. 'I heard this loud pop...I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out of the top of the floor lamp,' says Tom. Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap. She says, 'I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed I had glass on me.'"' Link
On February 23, 2011, TV NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee covered 'a newly-released investigators' report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.' Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, 'This result is consistent with our own private investigation. ...We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.' Link
Here are some examples from across the country:
'"GE Helical 13 Watt light bulb. After only 6 months of use. This bulb started making funny noises and flickering... Finally, exploded on my kitchen table." -- Charles of South Webster, OH January 30, 2010.' Link
'"My GE 20W Helical bulb in my 1/2 bathroom caught on fire on 5/3/10. The bulb snapped and glowed very brightly then caught on fire....The bulb was suppose to last 5 years but it was only about a year or so old. I tried replacing it with a GE 26W bulb and the same thing happened immediately." -- Chantelle of Danville, PA May 15, 2010 Link
'"My 80 year old mother turned on her reading lamp and the bulb exploded and the lamp shade caught fire. She unpluged the lamp from the wall and the fire went out thank God." -- M. of Lahaina, HI March 30, 2010' Link
'"I turned on an overhead bathroom light bulb and heard a pop and it exploded falling into the bathroom sink. Nearly all of he flying glass went straight down so little damage was done; however, I was very thankful it did not get in my eyes." -- Patricia of Sammamish, WA October 20, 2010' Link
'"We purchased a 3-way light bulb this past year. [Special 3-way CFLs are made but cost more.] Last night the bulb started a fire in the lamp....Had we not been there our house might have burned down." -- Tina of Redding, CT July 10, 2010 Link
'"I had a desk lamp CFL burn up right in front of me. Switched it on and tiny sparks were emanating like a Van de Graaff generator. Quickly switched it off; the plastic around the ballast was cracked and smoking" -- Nisshin, November 30, 2008' Link
October 5, 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported: 'Trisonic Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recalled Due to Fire Hazard" because of four incidents. It's official notice states: "Hazard: light bulb can overheat and catch fire.' Link
Concerns about the toxic mercury in CFLs are downplayed by the bulbs' advocates, but they shouldn't be. According to EPA and other sources, the safe limit is 300 nanograms per cubic meter. When a broken CFL was reported in Maine, the state's Department of Environmental Protection did the most extensive testing in the nation to evaluate the health risk. Its 160-page report is shocking:
'Mercury concentration in the study room air often exceeds the...300 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) for some period of time, with short excursions over 25,000 ng/m3, sometimes over 50,000 ng/m3.' Link
The Maine report states that although following its recommended procedure for home cleanup
'produces visibly clean flooring surfaces for both wood and carpets, all types of flooring surfaces tested can retain mercury sources even when visibly clean. Flooring surfaces, once visibly clean, can emit mercury immediately at the source that can be greater than 50,000 ng/m3[.] '
The recommended cleanup procedures are onerous, inconvenient, time consuming and must be followed exactly to avoid exacerbating the health risk and incurring financial expense. For example, EPA Link recommends:
'Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury... The vacuum will put mercury into the air and increase exposure." You will also be looking at the cost of a new vacuum cleaner, because the Maine DEP research found it "difficult to impossible" to decontaminate a vacuum even with the advantage of sophisticated instruments the homeowner doesn't have.
Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury into smaller droplets and spread them.
Never pour mercury down a drain. It may lodge in the plumbing and cause future problems during plumbing repairs...or cause pollution of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant.
Never wash clothing or other items that have come in direct contact with mercury in a washing machine, because mercury may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.'"
Had enough? If not, there's much more here.