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« Greens 'see the light' on CFLs | Main | NZ media letting down their customers »


Shane Ponting

The solution gets closer:


THESE are the bulbs that should be banned (the CFL ones) not the incandescent bulbs.

I went out and bought 5 bulbs for $10 when they had the coupons in the mail and I still have them in their boxes. Not sure what to do with them now.

I have had a bulb quit on me, but luckily it didn't break that I can see, it just went black inside.

I've seen someone drop and break one of these bulbs in a supermarket last year when they were taking it off the peg. I wonder what the supermarket did? They probably didn't know how toxic it was either.


I have voted for the Greens for the last two elections but will actually vote for another party if they keep on supporting this insanity of the proposed compulsory use of CFL lightbulbs!This is not a threat but a promise!


"I got your magazine today and nearly cried. About a month ago a CFL broke in my kids room. Somehow it had fallen out of the light fitting and I found it broken on the floor - thankfully no one was in the room at the time."

Ian W.

Good work. Great article on CFLs.

Yes that's a too often common occurence with these bulbs, as I've mentioned previously. Have a habit of falling out of the standard lightbulb fittings and many people have been unaware of them being toxic even after they've broken!

Wonder how many homes have already been contaminated by them?


Very Simple Rachel,

Go to your gardening store, and buy some fine dusty sulphur. Raw yellow, elemental form.

Sprinkle it over the site, and rub it in gently - but not deeply.

Leave for a bit - then wet vacuum getting it out of the pile.

The sulphur will immobilise any free mecury, forming HgS, the rest can be easily sucked up in a wet process.
Free Mercury metal has a positive vapour co-efficient at room temperature, and will evapourate over time. Leave a window open slightly if you are concerned.

The significant forms of mercury are in fish, and other products, which are in your diet ...


Are going to have to blame the greens for stinky carpet syndrome?


Yesterday, 23rd July 08, i went to the Waitakere City Council Refuse Transfer Station to dispose of my maximum allowable limit of 5 ecobulbs (CFLs) and as i knew they contained mercury and would release very toxic mercury vapour if they were broken, put them in a plastic bread bag with a rubberband around the neck and took them to the proper W.C.C. site to dispose of them properly.
But to my HORROR, when i handed them in the bag to the refuse worker, when i asked him , is the correct place to give you these for recycling, he simly gave me a sly grin and tossed the plastic bag some 20 yeards into the distance in Shed 8 towards a general massive rubbish heap. The bulbs in the bag fell short of the pile and smashed in the bag!
So much for a proper handling of your bulbs by your local council!! And how many consumers are going to use their expensive petrol to drive to the proper council site to dispose of them "correctly" and given what i witnessed firsthand yesterday, why would you even bother! This is a total outrage!!!

Of interest.

CFLs have also been found to trigger epileptic seizures in people prone to epilepsy, just as standard fluorescent bulbs have known to do for sometime!

Had the misfortune of standing directly under a light fitting with a CFL, just lastnight while visiting friends my head was about 30 centimetres below the bulb. Only took about 5 minutes before I experienced bad stinging and burning sensations in my head. Never get that with the standard lighbulbs and this particular CFL was one of the newer double glass enclosed ones!



What happens to you when you stand under a mistletoe at Xmas?


peter - what happens to you when you had a wife and couldn't keep her.

Kind regards
Alex Burns


You get your daughter to carry out your own personal vendettas Dad? That's sick!


Thank you tiger for another piece of the jig saw that will assist those investigating malicious threats towards my children. I just knew the phone calls etc... were orchestrated by unwell Liarbour supporters. All will be revealed in due course. Of course, before the elections, as voters will be both sickened and appalled at the perverted tactics employed by the loony left.
See you in the dock!


See you then :-)


Daddy 4

I just cannot understand what would provoke anyone to endanger you or your family.

We all know what a mild mannered and reasonable man you are.

Here's a thought - had you ever thought of getting angry and resentful, and telling people exactly what you thought of them.

It might be an effective gambit.


A video on YouTube suggests the vapour from these bulbs when broken, can reactivate pre-existing health conditions. A friend of mine with a history of heart problems dealt with a breakage at work with a dustpan and brush about 10 days ago, having no knowledge of the toxicity issues. At the end of the day he was suffering chest pain and when the doctor checked his bloodwork a few days later, he confirmed that he had probably suffered a heart attack that night. The doc wouldn't comment on the bulb issue as he said he didn't know enough about them.
Be wary folks.


What percentage of mercury was found in the bloodstream?


"What percentage of mercury was found in the bloodstream"


In general the medical profession don't do blood screening for 'heavy metal contamination' in basic blood tests, so that question is rather erroneous.

Hey I had 4 collapses in hospital in one episode. It took a technician over 20 minutes to work on my veins before they could get blood out of me and after the usual basic tests, x-rays and after collapse number 4 when I was paralized on the floor a stupid 'Lesbian man hating nurse' Mutters to herself in an annoyed way. "This it not right we can't find anything wrong with you.. You can be discharged now you shouldn't be doing this." As I came out of my collapsed I was rather angry at her brash attitude and said to her I'm not faking it woman!" (I was highly co-operative with the medical staff so her appalling attitude wasn't called for) This was after being admitted to hospital for the third time by ambulance and the same thing happening!

It was only after I had special medical tests done for heavy metal contamination. Mercury poisoning was confirmed!


CFRs have another danger in my view. The plastic base has electronics that can overheat when failing. I have had this happen and it sure smelled like fire, and was smoking.

Steve Bergman

The US FDA bases its recommendations regarding the consumption of certain fish upon a maximum safe mercury consumption figure of 1.5 mg/week. Translating this to the average of 4 (and falling) mg of mercury per bulb, we could say that for those who enjoy breaking open CFLs to lick all the mercury out, it should be safe as long as the practice is restricted to less than once every 3 weeks. However, if they use brands like the Sylvania minispiral, it should be OK to partake of the delicacy once per week. (Perhaps they should change the name to Sylvania Lite?) As with fish, if you eat more than that in a week, that's OK, as long as you keep the overall average below 1.5mg/week.

And yes, I'm laughing at people who worry about the dangers of mercury in CFLs. If the mercury level were 4 micrograms per bulb rather than 4 milligrams, I'm certain that the same scare stories would be circulating.


Hello. Let me introduce myself. I am angry. Also, I use CFL's responsibly and without fear. I align with no religion. I support legalization of marijuana, complete freedom of religion, and i'm for gay rights. I am 18 years old, and it is my generation that will be your doctors, your lawyers, your garbage men, your service personnel, your industry management, your waitresses, and your waiters. I can find out what you eat, where you get your paper in the morning, where you brew your coffee, what you search on the internet, where you get your information, and what you say in your prayers at night. But enough of the formalities. On to my point: I'm disappointed, but not surprised at the level of ignorance in both the initial editorial and responses. Did you know that 2+2=4? I learned this information from a reliable source comprised of experts on the topic. You can find it here:
See what I did there? I didn't complain and yell over why people would do this, I made a claim and provided sources to back it up. You, on the other hand, provided not a single source. Do the letters EPA mean anything to you? Look here if you're not familiar with Google yet:
See? I did it again! You can too, it's easy! Give it a try! =D
Also, prejudicial language tends to undermine credibility to those who can think for themselves. Who likes math??? Let's give some a shot, why not? To quote, because that's always fun:
"A CFL containing 5 mg of mercury breaks in your child’s bedroom that has a volume of about 25 m3 (which corresponds to a medium sized bedroom). The entire 5 mg of mercury vaporizes immediately (an unlikely occurrence), resulting in an airborne mercury concentration in this room of 0.2 mg/m3. This concentration will decrease with time, as air in the room leaves and is replaced by air from outside or from a different room. As a result, concentrations of mercury in the room will likely approach zero after about an hour or so.

Under these relatively conservative assumptions, this level and duration of mercury exposure is not likely to be dangerous, as it is lower than the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard of 0.05 mg/m3 of metallic mercury vapor averaged over eight hours. [To equate these values, we could estimate the average indoor airborne mercury concentration for 8 hours, beginning post-spill at an estimated starting value of 0.2 mg/m3 and decreasing from there. If one assumes the the air exchanges completely in one hour (a fairly standard assumption), then the 8-hour average concentration would be 0.025 mg/m3.]" - Helen Suh MacIntosh, a professor in environmental health at Harvard University.
Now, I implore you with the highest degree of sincerity to cease at your convenience these unsupported, misinformed and biased claims. What is the point of posting claims such as those in this article? If we follow from the agreements in the many other replies, one could hypothesize that an emotionally loaded article could entice readers to continue reading your posts, with an end result of what? Profit? Notoriety? I certainly do hope you have a plan for confronting professionals and logic. I bid you have a nice day, even if a CFL breaks in your way, because there really is no reason to worry.

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