Archive for the CFL Category

New Study: Eco ( CFL) Bulbs Cause Cancer

Posted in CFL with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by saynsumthn

A damning new study conducted by German scientists has found that so-called energy saving light bulbs contain poisonous carcinogens that could cause cancer and should be “kept as far away as possible from the human environment,” but Americans will be forced to replace their traditional light bulbs with toxic CFLs ahead of a government ban set to take effect at the start of next year.

“German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene,” reports the London Telegraph.

The study, conducted by Peter Braun at the Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, led the scientists involved to warn that the bulbs should only be used sparingly, in areas with good ventilation, and “definitely not in the proximity of the head,” due to the danger of the electrical smog the bulbs generate impacting human health.

That’s going to cause difficulties for Americans who will be forced to buy the bulbs following a government ban on traditional incandescent lighting that comes into effect on January 1, 2012.

A 2007 bill signed in to law by President George W. Bush mandates that, “Manufacturers will no longer be able to make the 100-watt Thomas Edison bulb after Jan. 1, 2012, followed by the 75-watt version in Jan. 2013, and the the 60- and 40-watt bulbs in Jan. 2014.”

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CFL light bulbs health hazard for babies and pregnant women due to mercury

Posted in CFL, Eugenics, Mercury with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by saynsumthn

A Report published in the UK Reads: Eco-bulbs ‘a health hazard for babies and pregnant women due to mercury inside’

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 10:26 AM on 23rd December 2010

Energy-saving light bulbs were at the centre of a fresh health scare last night after researchers claimed they can release potentially harmful amounts of mercury if broken.

Levels of toxic vapour around smashed eco-bulbs were up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area, the study said.

It added that broken bulbs posed a potential health risk to pregnant women, babies and small children.

The concerns surround ‘compact fluorescent lamps’ (CFLs), the most common type of eco-bulb in Britain, which are mini-versions of the strip lights found in offices.

The European Union is phasing out the traditional ‘incandescent bulbs’ used for more than 120 years and is forcing people to switch to low-energy alternatives to meet its climate change targets.

A CFL uses a fifth of the energy of a conventional bulb and can save £7 a year in bills. However, critics complain that CFLs’ light is harsh and flickery. Medical charities say they can trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes and have called for an ‘opt out’ for vulnerable people.

Incandescent bulbs do not contain mercury, along with other variants of energy-saving lights, such as LEDs and halogen bulbs. The study, for Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, tested a ‘worst case’ scenario using two CFLs, one containing 2 milligrams of mercury and the other 5 milligrams. Neither lamp had a protective casing and both were broken when hot.

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute found that they released around 7 micrograms (there are 1,000 micrograms in a milligram) per cubic metre of air.The official guideline limit is 0.35 micrograms per cubic metre.

Federal Environment Agency president Jochen Flasbarth said: ‘The presence of mercury is the downside to energy-saving lamps. We need a lamp technology that can prevent mercury pollution soon.

‘The positive and necessary energy savings of up to 80 per cent as compared with light bulbs must go hand in hand with a safe product that poses no risks to health.’

During tests the German government agency’s researchers were alarmed to discover that some bulbs had no protective cover and broke when hot.

High levels of mercury were measured at floor level up to five hours after the bulbs failed.

A spokesman for the agency said: ‘Children and expectant mothers should keep away from burst energy-saving lamps.

‘For children’s rooms and other areas at higher risk of lamp breakage, we recommend the use of energy-saving lamps that are protected against breakage.’ However, the UK Government insisted the CFL bulbs were safe – and that the risk from a one-off exposure was minimal.

The Health Protection Agency says a broken CFL is unlikely to cause health problems. However, it advises people to ventilate a room where a light has smashed and evacuate it for 15 minutes.

Householders are also advised to wear protective gloves while wiping the area of the break with a damp cloth and picking up fragments of glass. The cloth and glass should be placed in a plastic bag and sealed.

CFLs are not supposed to be put in the dustbin, whether broken or intact, but taken as hazardous waste to a recycling centre.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: ‘Guidance from the Health Protection Agency makes it clear that the mercury contained in low energy bulbs does not pose a health risk to anyone immediately exposed, should one be broken.’

Friends of the Earth said the switch to low-energy bulbs would reduce exposure to mercury from coal-fired power stations.

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