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Old 04-27-2007, 05:21 PM   #1
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Screw in Fluorescent, Environmental Haz?

I know the screw in Fluorescent bulbs are supposed to save a lot of energy.

Has anyone heard or know anything about potential mercury poisoning from broken bulbs?

See the attached report and tell me what you know.http://www.foxnews.com/printer_frien...268747,00.html
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:23 PM   #2
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Before looking at it, I will note two things:

1. All flourescents contain mercury, and all have special recycling procedures.
2. Fox is evil.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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After reading the article:

How dare the government restrict my freedom of lighting choice! I'll go grab one of the guns I bought without a background check at a gun show and shoot everyone with CFLs for endangering their children's safety. Then everything will be okay again.

But seriously, this is an alarmist point of view to the max. Flourescent tubes are much more fragile, contain more mercury, and have been used in PUBLIC areas for decades without dozens of tube-dropping related deaths...I wonder if offices and public buildings would use them if they actually posed such a health and economic threat.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:41 PM   #4
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That Fox report is a blog (i.e, one person's opinion) rather than an official news release.

All fluorescent lighting contains a small amount of mercury to produce the mercury vapor required for its operation. A fluorescent light works thus. The fluorescent ballast steps up the house voltage to produce a high voltage which arcs the length of the inside of the fluorescent tube, exciting the mercury vapor in the tube, which emits ultraviolet light. The UV is absorbed by the phosphors coating the inner wall of the tube and then the phosphors emit the visible light that you see radiating from the fluorescent tube. Compact fluorescent contain a lot less mercury than the old-style 4 foot "shop light" fluorescent tube where, if you looked carefully, you could see a very tiny drop of mercury rolling around inside the tube.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:50 PM   #5
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Yes, Fox is evil. And so are the others! Anyway, this is pretty alarmist... But so is most news.

We also shouldn't eat more than 6oz of fish per week, and never drive between 12-5am on weekends.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:26 PM   #6
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I've heard that CFLs have a small amount of mercury in them, but the biggest issue that scares me is some people find that the bulbs melt/catch fire near the end of their life span. I had a CFL in my room for years and when it finally burned out, you could see the brown scorch marks on the bulb housing.

BTW, Canada wants to ban incandescent lamps in the next few years. Already it's getting difficult to find non-CFL bulbs.
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakster View Post
BTW, Canada wants to ban incandescent lamps in the next few years. Already it's getting difficult to find non-CFL bulbs.
California wants to do something similar, but I don't recall whether or not that bill actually went anywhere.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:02 PM   #8
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In hotels that I have stayed in in California, none of the lights were incandescent. Alll of the bulbs, including the little candle-flame shaped ones in chandeliers, were CFLs. Not sure if that wa the result of state law or of market forces.
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:40 PM   #9
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i love cfls and my parents dont like them because they dont give off enough light. so once a month i swithch them to all cfl then they switch most of them back so now half our lights are cfls
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
In hotels that I have stayed in in California, none of the lights were incandescent. Alll of the bulbs, including the little candle-flame shaped ones in chandeliers, were CFLs. Not sure if that wa the result of state law or of market forces.
Probably an industrial engineer (consultant) told them to

Quote:
i love cfls and my parents don't like them because they don't give off enough light. so once a month i switch them to all cfl then they switch most of them back so now half our lights are cfls
You probably just need brighter bulbs My main one is too bright to look at directly Unless it's really cold -- then they might have a warm up time to get to full brightness
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