musings from the pink chair

a lightbulb goes off

Posted on: 13 September 2009

so you know how europe is outlawing normal lightbulbs and only allowing shops to sell those spiral fluorescent ones?  yeah.  it’s weird.  i’m conflicted about how environmentally friendly the policy really is.

yes, the fluorescent bulbs use (a lot) less energy than regular incandescent ones.  BUT what i think nobody knows about them is that they’re filled with mercury.  as in, if you break one, you’re supposed to evacuate the room for at least half an hour (to let the dust settle) and then wear a mask and gloves while cleaning it up (GE itself says that cutting your finger with the glass shards is actually a definite health risk).  i really don’t think anybody knows any of that, but look at the base of the bulb.  it says “Hg” right there.  and what about disposal?  you can’t throw them in the regular trash because of the mercury.  you have to take them to a local recycling/disposal center (ikea will take them, and there are other various places to drop them off).  how many people know that, and of those, how many will actually be willing to drive them somewhere to be recycled?

i really think people need to hear the words “mercury poisoning” and understand how to properly deal with these bulbs before everybody switches over to them.  less energy usage = good, but i don’t want poison in my water, thanks.

…and thus endeth my rant of the day.  sorry.  i just have a thing about people who are “going green” because it’s trendy and really have no understanding of the logic/science behind what they’re doing.

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I'm a twentysomething journalist who lives in Atlanta, loves all things artsy, and updates this blog from the cozy pink chair in my living room. More?

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