Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CFL: Good or Evil?

Since all of America is turning into tree-huggers I decided to do a post about CFL light bulbs.
Everyone says they are better.

But are they?

Alright let's look at what people are saying. It'll be in red and my comments in black.

CFL light bulbs have a longer lasting life

Yes, that's true. But only if you're the kind of person who lives by themselves and leaves lights on all day. CFL's only last long if they are left on for a good amount of time each time you flip the switch. But if you have toddlers that like to flip switches (which most toddlers do) then the light is going to wear out very quickly. CFL's can't be turned on and off a lot because it wears them out. What you have in the end is a 1 month old burnt-out light bulb. Our CFL bulbs burn out faster than the regular ones. We have taken them back to the store many times.

CFL light bulbs use less energy

Ok- so I'm going to go back to my other point. If you turn them on and off a lot then they will get worn out. Here's the process...
1. Buy a CFL light bulb
2. Use CFL light bulb feeling good about yourself
3. CFL light bulb wears out in one month
4. Use ENERGY to drive your car to the store to get more.
4. Pollution from car gas

CFL's are good for the envirorment

CFLs are manufactured to contain 4 mg of mercury per light bulb. If CFLs become widespread, so does the inherent danger of mercury exposure. To give some context to that amount, a typical natural tuna in the U.S. contains about 0.2 mg/kg body weight, which translates into 0.24 ppm mercury in canned tuna. The EPA may suggest that this amount of mercury is negligible and poses no threat to human health or longterm environmental contamination, but even a junior high school chemistry student knows not to trust the government's insistence that a broken mercury thermometer does not threaten an individual's health. In actuality, the current EPA reference dose--the dose below which adverse effects are not recognized--is 0.1 micrograms/kg/day (0.1 micrograms = 0.0001 mg). Because of biological sensitivity to mercury, it is a serious consideration in both production and disposal.

I found that last paragraph on this website

And what about that fact? What if the bulb breaks? This was helpful...

CFL packaging does not instruct the consumer what to do if a bulb breaks, let alone warn that they contain mercury and phosphorous powder. The Freedom Enterprise Action Fund is taking the initiative and in May 2007 announced that they are petitioning the Consumer Safety Product Commission (CSPC) to include mercury warnings on CFL packaging.

Also from the above website...

Now, please don't take this the wrong way. I am all for helping the Earth become a better place.
But can't we do it correctly and without having our skin turn green by the light of CFL light bulbs?


  1. Hey Tia. I liked the "Earth Day post" - questioning the religion of environmentalism on Earth Day? Nice!

    I've also worried about having CFLs in my house precisely because of what might happen if one breaks -- another distinct danger of having toddlers in the house...

  2. ok this is just what i heard: if everyone in the world used a cfl, then that would be like removing a million cars from the highway.

  3. Mr. Reynolds-
    Thanks so much!!
    Same here and we don't even have toddlers in our house.

    Haha... I seriously doubt that.

  4. Wow, very interesting, can't they make "safe" stuff anymore.
    It's like they say "Hey buy this, oh ya, by the way it may have mercery in it oops! sorry. but still buy it! It's good for the earth ( but not necessarily for humans. )" It's kinda like the medicine on commercials , it's to help with back pain but has a 100 side affects, and people still take it. We are living in a messed up world. that's all.

  5. wow well here is an earth day poem...

    Keeping the Earth tidy and clean
    Is one of our tasks as a human being
    so don't rely on the person next to you
    to straighten up the earth, cause that's what all of us should do
    It helps us now and the next generation
    WE need to work together as a one united nation
    so pick up your trash and buy a hybrid car
    because what seems little can really go far
    Mother Nature everyone
    So we need to clean up together as one.

    by.. me.
    Tia it's matt

  6. ohh in my poen it should say..
    Mother Nature NEEDS everyone

  7. Tia you know you like what I write


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