Thursday, May 3, 2007

You Can't Say I'm Not Listening

My last post was about an article in a Canadian newspaper reporting a woman's CFL (lightbulb) cleanup nightmare. It cost her upwards of $2K American. I have 2 comments on it so far, and both of them point out how not dangerous these light bulbs seem to be, if you ask everyone else in the world.

Now, I'm not saying that the story I quoted was a hoax, I honestly believe that all those things happened to that woman, whether or not the people who said and did them were correct or truthful.

So I went looking around the web for articles about CFL's. Almost none of it was scary, except the bits referring to that same story. Mostly, I see sites that tell me that the amount of mercury is used, and can be recycled. The Energy Star site even has a whole document talking about them and recommending the proper way to dispose of the bulbs, or to clean up after one when it breaks
What should I do if a CFL breaks?
Because there is such a small amount of mercury in CFLs, your greatest risk if a bulb breaks is getting cut from glass shards. Research indicates that there is no immediate health risk to you or your family should a bulb break and it’s cleaned up properly. You can minimize any risks by following these proper clean-up and disposal guidelines:

Sweep up — don't vacuum — all of the glass fragments and fine particles.

Place broken pieces in a sealed plastic bag and wipe the area with a damp paper towel to pick up any stray shards of glass or fine particles. Put the used towel in the plastic bag as well.

If weather permits, open windows to allow the room to ventilate.
So there you are. I'm not saying that Brandy Bridges from Ellsworth Maine is making up her story, I'm just saying that perhaps she was steered wrong.

Or perhaps the Energy Cabal doesn't want us to know how dangerous these things are, and no one will know what killed so many of us until 100 years later.

Man, it sucks being insanely paranoid.

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