Thursday, August 28, 2008

A bright idea?

After having compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) burning out faster than their incandescent counterparts around our house, I did some web research and learned some things

--CFLs are not recommended for fixtures that get less than 1.5 hours of burn time a day or have frequent on/offs, ie: closets. (Could explain their shorter life in my bathroom fixture)
--CFLs are not recommended for use in areas of high humidity (ditto the shorter life in my bathroom fixture.)
--CFLs must NOT be used in track lighting, recessed lighting, or with dimmer switches because of fire hazard.

If a CFL breaks on a hard surface it is recommended that you:
--Open the windows, and leave the room for 15 to 30 minutes.
--Turn off central air/heat system.
--Clean up large pieces with disposable cardboard and small pieces/dust with sticky tape and/or damp paper towel.
--Do NOT use vacuum or broom to clean up. (If a CFL breaks on carpet or a soft surface, and you must use a vacuum to clean up, dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents in a sealed plastic bag when through.)
--Dispose of bulbs inside a sealed plastic bag (some articles said TWO sealed bags)
--Preferably dispose of them as you do batteries, oil, paint and other hazardous materials.

And then there's the poor lady I read about who, after dropping a CFL and breaking it on carpet, called the retailer where she bought it for clean up instructions, and was referred to Poison Control Hotline and on and on until she got to her state's Department of Environmental Protection, eventually having the room in her house sealed off and banned from use until she could save up to afford the astronomically expensive clean up by hazardous waste experts. Sheesh! Read about her plight here:

Now, even more than before, I'm unhappy and perplexed as to why the government is moving toward banning incandescents before we have a better alternative than CFLs. I foresee only monumental problems with them ahead.

1 comment:

  1. A man from Home Depot had a display of these at an air show that we went to on Saturday. I was listening in on a few conversations as i was waiting in line. I heard him say that the ammount of murcery that you get from a broken bulb is the equivelent of eating two cans of tuna fish. He also spoke alot about FDA regulations and how strict they are about murcery, and these bulbs don't violate any of their regulations.
    Before I read this post, we had broken two of these (recieved a free sample in the mail, so decided to try them) so it had me worried.
    What he said made me feel better. I hope he was telling the truth and not just trying to be a good salesman.
    Anyway, thanks for the heads up. I will surely be researching this topic further before buying any more.
    Kim Kay


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