Practically Green: Beware of toxic mercury inside home’s compact fluorescent bulbs

by Ivory Soap on 02/08/2011

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In my last column, I talked about the benefits of compact fluorescent light bulbs over incandescent and how to avoid some of their problems. But, I held out one so I could dedicate a whole column to it: Mercury.

Mercury is a toxic element, and is currently an unavoidable part of CFLs. Each CFL contains about 500 mg of mercury, equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen. For comparison, those old mercury thermometers we all used as kids had 50-100 mg of mercury in them. And like the thermometers, the mercury in CFLs is released only if the glass is broken. Broken bulbs release mercury vapor and a mercury- containing phosphor powder.

Read full article HERE.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nicki May 12, 2011 at 8:34 am

I love your blog, and I have read and used many of your ideas. But I am not at all into the ‘green’ movement. I compost, make my own laundry soap and wipes, and buy organic produce and free range eggs. However, I do all these things for the common sense safety and frugality.

I get absolutely annoyed with the whole light bulb thing, and I think it’s a far bigger danger to use CFLs than the good old incandesant. Mercury poisoning vs. the theory of environmental danger? There is absolute proof of one and many suppositions of the other.

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