Niviene (niviene) wrote,
Niviene
niviene

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Environmental good vs Health Risk

Earth Day has passed and hopefully we've all done our part however big or small to make our planet a better place. I've been going through stuff in the apt cleaning out things that can be recycled. We have a program every year in the building that recycles things that shouldn't not go into landfill such as used electronic equipment, old medicine, old pens & pencils plus toxic waste such as batteries and cleaning supplies. We save our old meds, batteries for the year and they go into the collection bin in our building for this program.

So in the wake of all this I've been also looking at going even more green than we already are...yes there are a couple of things believe it or not...well I came across some articles on compact fluorescent light bulbs which scare the sh*t out of me....yes these are energy efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs and are highly touted as our answer to electricity consumption but the health risks to me just aren't worth it...environmentally better or not!

Not only are CFL bulbs problematic in that they cause headaches, nausea, and in some people seizures but also dizziness, loss of focus and general discomfort. That's not all folks....CFLs emit UV rays and it is recommended by health officials that people shouldn't sit closer than 30cm to these for more than an 1hr day!  Yes these bulbs emit RADIATION. O_O 

Wait...here's the kicker: CFL bulbs can contain anywhere from 5-30mg of mercury, a neurotoxin, which is hazardous (up to 100 times higher than federal guidelines). Put it this way...5mg (pen tip amount) of mercury is "enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels" says Stanford University. When Mercury accumulates in your body it causes damage to liver, kidney's and the central nervous system. So if a CFL bulb breaks which they do frequently if you don't screw it in properly mercury vapor is realized into the air. Children and pets need to be evacuated from the room amd the windows open to ventilate the place. Clean up is a bitch too..for if it breaks on a carpet the entire area of carpet needs to be removed. Vacuums shouldn't be used, nor should you touch the broken pieces with you hands...use paper and tape and put the pieces in a plastic ziplock bag. Scared yet? F*ck....I am!!!

Oh and you can't dispose of CFLs in the regular trash as it's considered toxic waste. Most retail stores that sell CFLs do not have trade in programs where they dispose of the bulbs for you...so what I"m supposed to hold on to the toxic stuff for a year until my building environmental program kicks in again? Ah..no way. Stores need to do their part...if they sell the crappy stuff they need to be responsible and take the used ones back and dispose of it for the people. It is recommended that the bulbs be stored in a pail with a tight fitting lid until you can get them to a toxic removal place. Anyone know where those are located for we who live in the city and do not drive...ya umm...so not seeing this as a viable solution especially for those of us who living in condo and apts.

Well there ya have it kids....just an fyi...no way in hell I'm using these damn things....I'll buy LED lighting instead regardless of the cost. My health is worth more to me!

By 2012 incandescent bulbs are going to be phased out....I say keep incandescent bulbs around until a more suitable safe & health friendly alternative to CFL is found....LEDs is a suggestion...and turn out the f*king lights when you're not using them people. It's not rocket science!

I think we as concerned citizens need to take a stand on this and voice our concerns because if we don't then what happens when you or someone you love is diagnosed with mercury related diseases and there's no help, resources, money or cure out there!

*is going to stock up on regular lightbulbs* 
Tags: conservation/environmentalism, rant, wellness
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