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A case of compact fluorescent lights cont'd

By Obiora Embry

Take for example, the "call to action" that encourages US to replace our incandescent bulbs with Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs) to conserve electricity as a means of "going green."  This action was based on false pretenses as the material composition was downplayed, which I found out after I did some independent research.  I discovered that CFLs contain a heavy metal, Mercury (Hg), which is a known neurotoxin, and possibly other heavy metals but its material composition is sketchy.

As a parent, I am concerned because children are often asked or told to persuade their parents, neighbors, and others to use CFLs, so we can reduce our energy consumption.  However, too few of US know the health risks associated with Mercury, which can be exacerbated when children are involved because they sometimes do NOT wash their hands at appropriate times (i.e., after handling a CFL bulb).

As an engineer who has worked in manufacturing, I know that (almost) all current manufacturing processes create waste, either as a liquid, solid, or gas, and will eventually find its way into the water, the air, and soil.  This means that Mercury (and any other heavy metals in CFLs) will bioaccumulate—have a higher concentration of a substance in an organism over time compared to the concentration found in the natural environment—through the production of Compact Florescent Lights.  The bioaccumulation of Mercury can lead to the formation of methyl mercury, which can accumulate in small and large fish because

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