Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013

Keburukan lampu Kalimantang

Keburukan lampu CFL

A couple of years ago my husband and I began hearing about a new kind of light bulb that would one day make the incandescent light bulb obsolete. In fact some counties, states and cities are so convinced the new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are green they are seeking to ban the use of the incandescent light bulb.

The ads we saw hooked us with statements of energy and money savings along with the promise that they lasted years, not months and would therefore not need changing all that often.

My husband began buying the rather expensive CFLs and replacing our older incandescent light bulbs. They were fine, though they did not always live up to the longevity promotion. Those CFLs that burned out we treated like any other light bulb, tossing them in the trash.

I even watched an Oprah show on how using CFLs promote the environment. CFLs are green! What a way to go. Sounded like a win-win situation to me--until another side of CFLs came across my desk and I took a second look.

These supposedly green, environmentally friendly CFLs contain mercury, and if not handled properly or disposed of with care, can leech deadly compounds into our air, our water and contaminate our landfills and our environment. Doesn't sound too friendly to me, though the amount of mercury in CFLs is small.

Still the Fact Sheet about CFLs from the US Environmental Protection Agency had this to say about mercury. "Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, can affect our brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver, causing symptoms such as trembling hands, memory loss, and difficulty moving."

It adds, "Mercury is released into our environment when products with mercury are broken, disposed of improperly, or incinerated. If you break a CFL, clean it up safely."

Some packages of CFLs do carry a warning, but the warning labels are usually small and hard to read.

In the rush to push these CFLs on an unsuspecting public, few, if any, of the proponents (like Al Gore, Oprah) either don't know the hazard or do not seek to educate the public on the deadly problems that may result from not handling the CFLs properly.

An article in WorldNetDaily catalogues the experiences of several consumers. One of these consumers, Brandy Brudges, broke a CFL in her daughter's bedroom. She called Home Depot where she purchased the CFL and ended up being directed from the poison control hotline up the line to, finally, the state department of environmental protection who tested for contamination. The room is still sealed off while she saves up the $2000 needed to pay a company that specializes in hazardous waste cleanup. This for one broken CFL light bulb?

Those with a stake in the future of CFLs assure the consumer that CFLs are safe, but caution that a broken bulb should not be vacuumed up. The Fact Sheet states, "If a CFL breaks in your home, open nearby windows to disperse any vapor that may escape, carefully sweep up the fragments (do not use your hands) and wipe the area with a disposable paper towel to remove all glass fragments. Do not use a vacuum. Place all fragments in a sealed plastic bag and follow disposal instructions."

How do we safely dispose of these green CFL light bulbs? The Fact Sheet says, " a sealed plastic bag and dispose the same way you would batteries, oil-based paint and motor oil at your local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Site. If your local HHW Collection Site cannot accept CFLs (check to find out), seal the CFL in a plastic bag and place with your regular trash."

But who is educating us about this CFL and, without an educational program, how many, like us, simply toss them away, or vacuum up broken shards. Moreover, we are warned not to use them in track or recessed lighting or with dimmer switches. They can pose a fire hazard if not used properly or if used in an area with frequent power surges.

Multiply the problem of disposal and cleanup by the thousands around the country, the world. While the Environmental Protection Agency heavily touts CFLs, few safeguards have been put into place to deal with the very real hazard CFLs represent an a public that has little education in proper usage or disposal.

How can a light bulb be green and environmentally friendly when it can cause such destruction? There may be a future for CFLs, for now we need slow down, take another look before we buy into what may well ended up far worse than our old-fashion incandescent light bulb. We also need to stop the move to ban the older incandescent light bulb, which smacks of Big Brother, not freedom to choose. Instead, why not educate and inform and let the consumer decide.

As the old saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is-- CFLs included-at least without a massive campaign to education and inform the user.

  • Gkhan5/19/2010

Hey Mike,
I own a small business in New York. I just ordered 20,000.00 CFLs direct from China and saved lots of money. China CFL bulb--> $0.90 each
USA CFL bulb (made in china anyway)--> $9.00 each!!!
Am I an Environmental terrorist or just smart?
The latter.

We have disposal bins set up in our business too. Don't rip on China.


  • Mike4/24/2009

Do some reading before you expound on your ignorance. The AMA suggests that .01mg of mercury is an unsafe level. One CFL contains an avg of 5mg. I have incandescent bulbs in my home lasting years longer than CFL's... so much for the fact CFL's have longer life.
Incandescent bulbs do use more energy, so power plants produce more energy, in turn producing more mercury polutants.
Now, how many of you just throw your CFL bulbs in the garbage? And where does that wind up? Which is better - which is worse. Depends on who you ask. GE, EPA, your Gov't.
It comes down to the fact they both suck. But did you know nearly all CFL,s are produced in China. Everyone is buying these. Incandescent bulbs are made in good ole USA. If you buy these you are an environmental terrorist!!! So it puts a few companies and hundreds of US citizens out of work. It won't matter if it's made in China, because China will soon own US.


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