The danger of CFLs

I stopped by an online magazine I like to visit called Blissfully Domestic. It’s a collection of moms who write about topics they know well and that help make family life easier. Today, one contributor, Dr. Diva, writes about pending legislation in California that would require all households to eliminate incandescent light bulbs after January 1, 2012. As Dr. Diva says, “The goal is that every household would only use CFL’s, which are 75% more energy efficient.”

Some people would consider this a good thing. But take a look at what happens if a CFL breaks in your house:

[I]f it broke onto a hard surface (best case scenario), scoop up the mess with two pieces of cardboard, put the debris into a glass container with a metal lid. Then, using duct tape, further clean the area, and finish with paper towels or disposable rags. Put the duct tape and rags into the jar and seal it off.

Then, check to see how your state deals with such waste. California doesn’t allow putting it into the normal trash; it needs to be taken to a special hazardous materials recycling center.

And yet these bulbs are perfectly safe?


The instructions for what to do if a bulb breaks on a soft surface such as carpeting is even further detailed and disturbing. If one shatters onto materials such as clothing or bedding, they must be sealed up and disposed of according to, again, your state’s particular regulation.

Maine’s Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management states in their recommendations state that if a CFL is broken on carpeting, you should consider removing that section of carpeting, particularly if in an area where there will be babies, small children, or pregnant women. They aren’t the only state to have such recommendations.

Think of all the light bulbs a typical family has in their home. With CFLs, changing light bulbs will become a big deal, one that kids won’t be able to do because of the risk of breakage.

For years, parents have been told to steer clear of mercury thermometers for taking their kids’ temperature because of the risk of mercury poisoning if the thermometer breaks, and now California state legislators are about trying to make Californians install mercury filled CFLs all over their homes by 2012?

Why do California legislators routinely go out of their way to make their citizens’ lives so damn difficult. Rolling blackouts, taxes up the ying yang, driving businesses out of the state. No wonder people are leaving California all together.

"I Find Your Lack Of Faith Comforting"