Sunday, May 06, 2007
Junk science vs. junk science
Finally, CFL critics like to remind you that CFL bulbs contain mercury, a highly toxic pollutant. This is true. The typical CFL bulb contains approx. 5mg of mercury. (Manufacturers are working to reduce this. Phillips is said to have developed a bulb that only has 1.5mg of mercury.)
If a CFL bulb is broken, special care must be taken to properly clean up and dispose of the remnants to prevent health risks. Further, CFLs must be recycled or properly disposed of to prevent the mercury from escaping into the environment. Here are the federal government guidelines for CFL disposal and cleanup.
What the critics forget to mention, however, is that coal-fired power plants are a major source of mercury pollution. Further, most of this mercury is emitted into the air, and is thus not contained or containable. Mercury in a CFL is already contained unless it is broken, and if properly recycled is fully containable.
Via Instapundit, Everything you wanted to know about Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, including the mercury problem
Snopes weighs in as well (link also via Instapundit), so that pretty much puts the whole “We're gonna die by Mercury poisoning!” thing to rest.