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Saturday, July 12, 2008

That damned fluorescence

What's Mallard raving about today?

Florescent bulbs.

If I did not do this blog, I would not know that Compact Fluorescent Bulbs were a threat to humanity.

6 comments:

exanonymous said...

Conversation between me and my mother:

Me: You know that congress has banned regular lightbulbs and will require CFLS?

Mother: They can't! They're a hazard. If you break one, they say you have to open all your windows and evacuate the house and call hazmat and throw away all the clothes you were wearing!

Me: Um, what about the thermometers we broke as kids?

Mother: We didn't know mercury was dangerous then!

Me: We didn't die.
(She's not a conservative, but very much buys into media safety sensationalism.)

Sokudo said...

Boy, I sure do hope the duck has been just as concerned for janitors whenever they've broken fluorescent bulbs. You know. Those long tubes that have been lightning office buildings for decades.

NLC said...

I thought the whole point was that, yes, there have been florescent bulb, and CFLS with uncomfortably high amounts of mercury, but they the amount of mercury in "modern" bulbs is significantly lower.

Does anyone know any actual data or have any pointers on this?

Anonymous said...

Snopes.com has a pretty good article on the subject, and also traces where the story about "having to call hazmat" comes from.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp

CFLs containg about 5 mg of mercury, which comparable to the low end of a "tube" flourescent lamp.

When I was in high school in the late 70's, our chemistry teacher let us play with mercury the last day before Christmas break. We thought it was great fun pushing little drops of it around the lab table, watching it coalesce. He did tell us at the start we shouldn't touch it if we had a cut or scratch on our finger.

JBC

Kaitlyn said...

You know what bothers me more than the lightbulbs?

The HD only thing in February. For some reason, it creeps me out.

We have some of the beaming beacons of death in our house.

Um, some bugs have died?

Besides, this requirement is a few years away - time for them to get safer and presumably cheaper.

Kaitlyn said...

Exanonymous - sounds like my mom & sis.