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« Owen Glenn a billionaire? Not according to NBR | Main | Greens 'see the light' on CFLs »

Comments

usabikes

"Then there’s the problem of what to do with the toxic waste...." which explains why the countries of the EU have fobidden that these light bulbs go into land fills. Are we going to dump mecury willy-nilly into our landfills and have it leach into the water tables?

Sounds about as "safe" as lead-free petrol which replaced lead with carcinogenic aromatics. I thought Leaded petrol was outlawed because lead builds up in our bodies and makes us sick. Just as Mercury does, although Mercury also seems to share the dangers of aromatics - nobody knows how much or how little will kill a given person in how short a time.

Still, Mrs Fitzsimons says your well documented article is "the most absurd thing she's ever read"? Well if our friends in the Green Perty say so...

usabikes

"Then there’s the problem of what to do with the toxic waste...." which explains why the countries of the EU have fobidden that these light bulbs go into land fills. Are we going to dump mecury willy-nilly into our landfills and have it leach into the water tables?

Sounds about as "safe" as lead-free petrol which replaced lead with carcinogenic aromatics. I thought Leaded petrol was outlawed because lead builds up in our bodies and makes us sick. Just as Mercury does, although Mercury also seems to share the aromatics danger - nobody knows how much or how little will kill a given person in how short a time.

Still, Mrs Fitzsimons says your well documented article is "the most absurd thing she's ever read"? Well if our friends in the Green Party say so...

Dan

This is typical of the brain dead politics of our country at the moment.

I just talked to my wife, (who is pegnant) about the risks above, and she took off out the door to get some "proper" light bulbs.

If this risk is even half of what is suggested it is still completeley unacceptable.
What rips my jocks, is I installed these poisoness light bulbs based on Consumer magazine recomendation. Consumer has been becomming increasingly PC over the last few years, just goes to show how infectious political correctness has become. Who would have thought a few years ago that politically correct light bulbs would exist?.

What a bloody joke this govt has become.

BammBamm

Yes - they are a hazard.
Yes - the government is clueless, and run by imbeciles, for imbeciles.

Hg occurs naturally in many waterways in NZ - and it s common in places to find free mercury in the environment, pooling or amalgamating on stream bed floors.
Fortunately, it is only in a few rivers.

If you are pregnant - yes - safe until they break. Mind, you shouldn't be drinking from plastics either!

Talking about land fill. Ever wonder where your smoke detectors end up with their 1 microCurie source of Americium in them?
Made in China, and not always containing Americium ... but other Actinides such as Plutonium, like in Europe.

Shane Ponting

So as long as I don't break them I'm perfectly safe?

Because if that's the case it would seem the obvious thing to do is to enclose the CFL in a more robust capsule or similar in order to make it virtually impossible to break under "normal" use.

AcidComments


Yeah.

That's why they went to great lengths to promote 'environmentally friendly' mercury free batteries, because of the toxic landfill effect, etc. So why should these Mercury lighbulbs be alright as far as the hypocrite 'greenies' go?

Of interest. Once you have mercury poisoning. It will continue to leach out of your body for years causing all sorts of horrible health side affects. In some people it doesn't just eliminate through the urine or bowels. It does a merry go round through the lymphatic system and elimates through the skin.

I've been going through another mercury poisoning flare up phase over the last week or so. It's like a 'living hell.'

ian

Shane...they're also a fire risk. One guy's house burnt to the ground in April this year.

The lights tell you when they've had enough by physically burning out at their base.

While they are supposed to be constructed so they only smoulder and melt, some go the whole hog.

Energy Safety Authority in Wellington has already had reports of houses filling with acrid (and carcenogenic) burning plastic fumes.

I took my CFL bulb out yesterday, and found it too was starting to scorch.

Stay away from them. They're not worth the hassle, much less the hype.

Dan

Bamm Bamm
I think you have missed the point.
The chance of breaking one of these bulbs once in a while is pretty high, if the contamination is as bad as suggested the acumulation of say 20 years of busted bulbs, would make a house highly toxic.
This is an outrageous betayal of public safetey for the sake of earning brownie points, or should I say "greenie" points.
It is living proof that these liberal nut cases place their idealogy ahead of common sense and safetey, for people AND the environment.

Dan

Ian
Is it possible that gasseous mercury can escape while the bulb is burning out?

Our house had a plastic burning smell, we searched everywhere for it I thought it was the wiring cause, hello hello a CFL had burnt out. Now I know what it was. Shame on the govt and shame on Consummer mag (who sent out a supplementary booklet) for recomending them.

PS.these poisoness bulbs don't last anywhere near as long as they're supposed to either.

ian

Dan, in theory, no. In practice, it depends whether the heat is strong enough to crack the fluorescent tubing in the ballast [base].

If there is the slightest crack, the scientists found the mercury vapour did escape.

The fumes from burning plastic are of course toxic in themselves

KevOB

The greenies ought to know that a CFL which has a actual life similar to an ordinary bulb probably uses more resources than regular ones. The long life claims are phony in houeshold use. I have had one already come apart. As for the mercury, ask the Japanese about Minimata. Their light is terrible too. Caveat emptor.

AcidComments

"Our house had a plastic burning smell, we searched everywhere for it I thought it was the wiring cause, hello hello a CFL had burnt out. Now I know what it was. Shame on the govt and shame on Consummer mag (who sent out a supplementary booklet) for recomending them."

Also of interest.

While we're on the subject of lighbulbs.

Also be careful about buying standard lightbulbs made in China. Some of them can give off toxic 'glue fumes'. Once they've heated up and been on for awhile.
They put glue on the glass bulb where it joins the screw socket.

I know some people who recently bought some Philips lightbulbs made in China. Not so long after the lights were turned on the room would be filled with an overpowering nauseating smell of heated glue. It was making them feel sick and also giving them headaches!

They ended up having to replace them with another brand of standard light bulbs. No more glue smell filling the room or nausea like symptoms!


Shane Ponting

I can only hope that in light of these risks that more resources are devoted to the very promising LED lighting tech. My 5W CFL manages 68 Lumens/watt, whereas the latest Cree LEDs have broken 100 Lumens/watt.

All I've been able to find thus far is spotlight applications - since LEDs naturally are narrow angle lights. But clever use of optics and diffusers should enable a wide angle room application....

Rick

Good work, Ian, and thanks. I have only one CFL in the upstairs TV room which I'll dispose of tonight. Since the Greens are a group of proven liars, I'll run with the scientific evidence.

Fletch

Acid, I agree with you about the smell. My folks had been buying the incandescent (normal) bulbs and it seems like it didn't matter what brand they bought, the bulbs always gave off a smell.

They tried Philips, Signature Brand, Osram and all different kinds. The smell was like some kind of chemical and we thought that maybe containers of bulbs had been fumigated, got onto the bulbs and the chemical was being released when heated.

It didn't seem to matter about the size, either. It was noticeable on the normal size and the little oval bulbs (that are shaped like flames).

This thing about the CFL bulbs is scary though; I knew about the mercury but I didn't know how very dangerous they were. It's hard to know what to do really. People will have to protest if the govt is going to decide to ban the older bulbs. And what about house-buyers? How will they know if someone has broken a bulb in a room and if the house is safe? It opens up a whole new can of worms.

peter

Fletch

Made it back from World Youth Day with the Rock Star Pope already did you? How was it?

Have you considered candles or gaslight?

Exocet

How about discussing the matter at hand (hint:lightbulbs) peter you bigoted dickhead?

peter

I had more to say about lighting technology than you Exocet!

It occurred to me however that Fletch was running out of alternatives. Some monastic options may be appropriate - along with a dark brown cassock and a "bowl" haircut.

KevOB

There are various uses for candles.

ZenTiger

At a pinch Peter, some of us could probably make do with the standard incandescent light bulb.

Had that thought not occurred to you?

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