I know that it is not only ES sufferers who have problems with these horrible light bulbs – they affect people with migraine and epilepsy and give off a flat light which is not good for anyone with poor sight – quite apart from being full of mercury!!
So I was delighted to read that not only are the Canadians having second thoughts about them but a Texas senator, Joe Barton, has introduced a bill to ban them! To be fair, one of his main reasons is that they are depriving US citizen of jobs (incandescent bulbs were made in the US whilst most CFLs are made in China) but he also cites the following reasons for wanting to get rid of them:
CFLs contain mercury and have to be disposed of carefully. The amount of mercury in one bulb is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels. The EPA recommends an elaborate cleanup ritual, including throwing away any clothes or bedding that has come in direct contact with the mercury from the bulb.
CFLs are not designed to be turned off and on frequently; the lifespan of a CFL may be reduced by up to 85 percent if you switch it off and on a lot.
CFLs can raise your heating bills. They’re not great for interior use in a cold climate, because they produce less heat than incandescent bulbs. So you save on electricity, but have to pay more in heating costs.
People with certain conditions can be harmed by CFLs. Reactions range from disabling eczema-like reactions, to light sensitivities that can lead to skin cancer.
The Energy Star program warns that CFLs can overheat and smoke.
A letter to your MP citing the same reasons (click here to find your MP’s contact details) might not go amiss…