Archive for October 16th, 2011

Rather Frightening

Are CFLs that safe?

Earlier in the week in my Change the World Wednesday post, I took the challenge to replace my incandescent light bulbs with CFLs as they expire.

I had previously resisted. Firstly because I had tried them in the past, seven years ago, and their purported longer life didn’t prove to be all that correct. Secondly, the frequencies of UV and electromagnetic radiation they emitted were harmful.

A comment left on my post, has also caused me to explore the ‘benefits’ again.

I found a wealth of information here, and it seems that the UV danger is from being in close proximity to the light source, bedside or reading lamps, but UV filters should be employed because CFLs do not have them. We know enough about UV radiation to know that it is harmful to the skin, especially those with sensitive skin.

Carbon Footprint

Then there is this consideration: “It may surprise many people to know that CFLs increase a consumer’s carbon footprint in a ‘cradle to grave’ analysis. Full costs to manufacture, operate and safely dispose of a CFL have never been disclosed to the public.” And…


“CFLs emit electromagnetic radiation, a type of energy that can make people very sick. Many people have reported skin rashes and irritation due to ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Radio frequency radiation is even more of a concern.  The effects of exposure to radio frequency radiation, as well as to high voltage spikes and transients, are known to cause illness, are virtually ignored by environmental groups and green building consultants alike.”

Source: The Dark Side Of CFLs Read the full story, it tells of how the corporations are again making their profits via governments not doing the right things.

CFL vs Incandescent

While some countries are preparing to ban, or have already banned incandescent lightbulbs in favour of fluorescent or CFLs; there are others, New Zealand and Germany who have done an about turn on their bans and lifted them; and in the case of the latter introduced restrictions and prohibitions as to where CFLs can and cannot be used.

General Electric was researching HEIs but then this:

“GE Consumer & Industrial and GE Global Research have suspended the development of the high-efficiency incandescent lamp (HEI) to place greater focus and investment on what we believe will be the ultimate in energy efficient lighting — light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).”

Source: Environmental Leader Read more

All this can be tied up with this: “the problem that politicians wants incandescent bulbs phased out faster than the industry can deliver alternatives.” From EV as well.

So it all boils down to corporations and politicians, money and corruption; that we are only being told half-truths… again!


The Final Straw

What happens if you break a CFL while installing or removing?

The clean up bill can run to $2,000… shocked?

Read this: The CFL mercury nightmare


Having recanted my original views, I am about to do so again. All the evidence to the contrary that I have been faced with affirms my original doubts.

Oh, and we haven’t even discussed the safe disposal of CFLs. I have searched and at the time of writing I can find no programme here in Brazil; one of the countries banning incandescent lightbulbs. We are talking millions (Brazil’s population is 180 million) of homes, many more millions of CFLs and no where to dump the mercury.

%d bloggers like this: