Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FMFLLFs: Environmentally unfriendly CFL bulbs!

Today is a double-duty post; that is, I am doing both a BSC-PSA (Busty Superhero Chick Public Service Announcement) and a FMFLLFs (For My Fact-Loving Liberal Friends), because not only am I trying to help my dear, sweet liberal friends with some nice, juicy facts that they eat up like a cop eats up donuts, but the following information will also benefit the rest of you; which is why I am making this a BSC-PSA. In truth, what follows is not so much new news, but a reminder of something that you might have forgotten. And that would be regarding the so-called "environmentally friendly" Compact Fluorescent Lamps - also known as CFL bulbs.

CFLs are meant to replace the regular incandescent light bulbs (I'll just call them ILBs), because in theory, they are supposed to last much longer and with less energy, and so as the theory goes, you use fewer bulbs. However, CFLs have a dirty little secret that should be mentioned a LOT more than it is now: These bulbs contain mercury. Yes, the same mercury that is hazardous to your health. While some articles try to state that what mercury is contained in CFLs is much lower than what is contained in your average mercury thermometer, it is still enough that a broken one is a big health hazard.

If you've read the linked article, you see that the doctor had no clue as how to treat someone with mercury poisoning. My suggestion to you, dear friends, is to check your local ERs and other emergency personnel to see what their policies are regarding mercury poisoning, and if they don't have a policy, then ask them why the hell not, since so many CFLs are in the market. And also consider that this problem will only get worse once the Feds ban ILBs in the next couple of years and we'll have to switch out to the health-hazard-yet-somehow-environmentally-friendly CFLs. While most sites try to assure that there will be little environmental problems so long as the CFLs are disposed of properly, don't fool yourself into thinking that that the vast majority of Americans aren't going to dispose of them just like they do ILBs - by throwing them away in the regular trash, where they'll get crushed and break anywhere along the way from the house's trash can to the landfill.

Being creatures of habit accustomed to throwing away dead light bulbs as we have been doing for decades, it may take years to break us out of the habit of disposing CFLs in the trash just like we do ILBs. In the process of being indoctrinated into using CFLs "for our own good", there will be literally hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of CFLs in our landfills. Okay, let's play the numbers game, which my liberal friends so much love to do.

According to the articles linked above, the average CFL bulb has about 4 milligrams of mercury. I did a quick search to see how many light bulbs are sold in the United States in a given year. Once source stated that there were 2 billion of all types of light bulbs sold in 2005, so we'll use that. So once we are required to switch over to the CFLs, imagine that 2 billion CFLs will eventually make their way into our landfills. Before I continue, I know that my liberal friends will say that there will be fewer light bulbs in landfills because they last longer, BUT, until such time that the majority of us learn to dispose of CFLs "in the proper way", I can betcha that many CFLs will make their way to the landfill and sit there for years before our "great leaders" are forced to recognize that millions of CFLs sitting in our landfills leaking mercury is not good for the environment - not to mention to our health!

So friends, I say why wait until that fateful and terrible day in which a future leader has to publicly acknowledge the problem and endeavor to fix it? Why not proactively prevent the problem in the first place by preventing these health hazards from getting to our landfills in the first place? Damn, I'm trying to protect the environment here from mercury poisoning - my liberal friends should be all gung-ho on my side with this! If that's not enough, then consider that some evil corporation will be looting a nasty profit from our misery because he will have successfully bought off politicians to push these things in the market despite their obvious flaw.

So the sale of CFLs has all the sorts of stuff that should make my liberal friends gleefully froth at the mouth in anger over (by the way, "gleefully frothing in anger" is a unique liberal trait, which means that they aren't ecstatically happy unless they are pissed over some real or imagined "outrage" to inspire them into action - for which most of them means ranting in blogs and tweets): There is a flawed product that is a danger to the public but whose flaw is being passed over because some rich, greedy bigshot has bought off politicians so that they look the other way while they rake in the blood money while we are poisoned. A recipe for action, my friends!

Now that I have provided some nice, juicy facts for you, my dear liberal friends, why delay any longer in getting these monsters off the market and getting that ICB ban overturned? You DO love the environment, don't you? And you don't want some greedy CEO to swim in tons of cash while thousands of us deal with the effects of mercury poisoning, do you? Call your leaders today and demand action!

This has been both a BSC-PSA and a FMFLLFs announcement!


Anonymous said...

My personal experience is that the extended life is pure bunk on the current models. In normal household use the current fast start high wattage CFLs only last slightly longer than "normal" bulbs. The old original style that take minutes to "warm" up and produce much less light last for years, substantially longer than incandescent.

theik2 said...

Thanks for the psa! I don't think I have any CFL bulbs and won't get any. I recall that they don't last very long either. I wonder if our liberal friends own stock in the company that makes these bulbs?

Maybe you should add protecting the environment to your list of superhero duties.

theik2 said...

I don't think I have any of those bulbs. I'll have to check. I doubt that they last very long. Perhaps our liberal friends own stock in the company that make the CFL bulbs.

I suggest adding something about protecting the environment to your list of superhero duties.