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Are CFL Bulbs Injuring Homeowners?

Are CFL Bulbs Injuring Homeowners?
Doug Kasper - Wed Jan 14, 2009 @ 06:46AM
Comments: 49

no cflsIt seems more and more information is coming out as to why these bulbs are not the answer to our energy crisis needs. I believe everyone is aware that CFL lights contain very harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. You probably were not aware of this story though. At least it was new to me, and I thought it was worth sharing with you.

The CFL bulbs are not good for many people. It is really affecting people that have Lupus. The lady in this story had severe rashes they almost looked like burns. They say that the UV light from these bulbs
inflames the illness in Lupus patients. They also said the lights are bad for people with Migraine headaches and Epilepsy.

I'm starting to wonder what that means for everyone else. We are all still receiving the bad light just not reacting to it yet. I'm sticking with my lights on dimmers.

The Lupus Foundation is even petitioning the government to put warnings on the bulb packaging similar to cigarettes.

I'd love to hear your response on this issue.

Article and news story from channel 5 KSTP click here

 

Comments: 49

Comments

1. Nathan  |  my website   |   Thu Feb 05, 2009 @ 05:50AM

Thanks for the tip Doug I had no idea! Any idea when LED home lighting is going to start becoming more affordable?

2. Chuck Stroebel  |  my website   |   Thu Feb 05, 2009 @ 05:17PM

It's good that you raised this question. I'm sure there are others who have concerns about possible connections between adverse health effects and CFL bulbs.

CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. Mercury is toxic, depending on the level of exposure and it's chemical form. It's generally not a good chemical to release into the environment.

There are federal, state, and local efforts to recycle bulbs, and to inform consumers about proper disposal. In addition, there are broader federal and state efforts to reduce mercury in the environment. The primary source of exposure is mercury from coal fired power plants that produce methyl mercury (a form that is readily bioaccumulated in certain types of fish). Not all forms of mercury are equally toxic.

There is very little scientific information to substantiate any connection between CFL bulbs and adverse health effects (lupus, etc). You might check peer reviewed scientific data sources or national or state health agencies (e.g., National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, US Environmental Protection Agency, Minnesota Department of Health). Anybody can make individual claims on the internet, so it's good to be informed about the weight of evidence from credible sources.

A few other items for perspective. CFL light bulbs reduce our dependence on oil. Oil and other fossil fuels (coal) are a significant source of fine particles and other air pollutants that are the cause of air pollution health alerts across the nation (including Minnesota), and are a particular concern for children who have asthma; adults who have asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

One positive step that homeowners and business owners can do together is to improve energy efficiency of their buildings. This offers co-benefits in terms of economics, environment, and health (e.g., savings in electric utility costs, reductions in pollutant emissions, and greenhouse gases). Even if you disagree with the points above, improvements in energy efficiency clearly help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

If you'd like more information about mercury in CFL bulbs, see the Minnesota Department of Health web site at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/hazardous/topics/mercury/bulbs.html

3. Doug Kasper  |  my website   |   Tue Feb 17, 2009 @ 04:18PM

I'm glad to see my post has raised some questions. We also received many emails about the subject. As my first posting says I am reporting what I had seen on our local news. The reason I wrote about it was because it was something I had never heard about before that time.

The following is a response my uncle sent to me and I'd like to share with you also.

Doug---After reading your newsletter article about CFLs I went to the Lupis Foundation site link http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_communityboards.aspx?articleid=1961

Dr Werth seems to say UV emissions from incandescent bulbs and CFLs are about the same and certain specific CFLs may emit less. People with Lupis are unusually susceptible to being harmed by UV light which occurs naturally in sunlight. Is there information to show that routine exposure to UV light from Flourescent bulbs whether compact or not is harmful to persons who do not have Lupis?

I know there is Mercury in CFLs but this does not harm anyone while the bulb is in use and only might be harmful if the bulb is not properly disposed of.

I'd like to know how else CFLs may be harming people since we have them all over the house.

As I said in my article it makes me wonder about the the use of the lights I am not saying they are bad for you, I was just questioning if they are. I fully understand why they are good for the environment.

But I must say that I think the near future most people will turn around and say to themselves I don't understand why we ever used those bulbs. The CFL bulb carries a very emotional spot in many peoples mind, because it is so tied to the environment.

I believe that there is are some reasons that the bulbs are not taking off the way that many believe they should. These are poor quality of light, and also more upfront expense. As Nate had alluded to LED lights are coming and will probably find a much larger acceptance. As far as I know they have no mercury, will but off better light, and in addition use very little energy. In fact someone I was talking to in the housing industry believes that in the not to distant future we will not even wire High Voltage to light switches and light bulbs because all of the lighting will be low voltage.

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27. Matt   |   Thu Jul 13, 2017 @ 01:31PM

I agree, CFL bulbs are killing people. Natural lighting and solar energy are much better solutions. We really need to start taking this stuff seriously or our nation will get sicker and sicker.

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