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Toxic Light - The Dark Side of Energy Saving Bulbs

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posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 09:56 AM
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So I came across this video and thought I'd share, particularly so following an incident relayed to me by a friend.
My friend works for one of these so called "Recycling " companies and tells me all manner of horror stories concerning waste management scams and the complacency of local government departments.
My friend went to collect a load of fluorescent tubes and bulbs from a local government building, the people responsible for the disposal of the lights had gone to great expense and effort to safely package the items in especially purchased boxes.

My friend emptied the lights out of the packages and into a large builders bag, he then returned to the yard where the bag was emptied onto the ground and the contents smashed, then scooped up into another truck and sent off to the landfill owned by the local government. I truly despair for the future of my kids





posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad

sounds like the gov't did it right,sending it to a recycling place.Sounds like the recycler is a bit shady tho.Maybe he could win a fortune by turning whistleblower! They give a % of the epa fine to the informant.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad

The problem with these bulbs is they contain mercury. Recyclers can't forward loads of metal to refineries containing that and other toxins or the load will be refused. That gets expensive.

As to what to do with the stuff, dumping it to landfill is illegal as hell. Most recyclers will refuse to accept anything they know is on a list of toxins that could pollute their load. They know their material and what items contain them. Because some local recyclers are jaded they give the whole industry a bad name. Anybody remember in the Sopranos they'd dump asbestos into the local marshes?

Nice fat contract. Charge full price to remove the stuff and dump it, not even to landfill but into the environment. I mean what the hell, they sell every other vice to mankind. whats a little asbestos, mercury or lead in your plate of fish?



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:04 AM
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It's crazy that they make light bulbs that could cause such problems. I can see them in industrial lighting, but not in our homes. I don't like the frequency these bulbs emit, We still use incandescent bulbs. We don't use much lights in the summer anyway, and the heat from the lights actually helps heat the house in the winter. Here in the summer we have a couple more hours daylight than Florida has. In the winter we are lucky to have 8 hrs of daylight...but it does not matter, we are either burning oil or lights. Either way the same effect on the environment is there. If I were to turn the lights all on in the winter, along with the fridges, freezers, and electric stove. The furnace only runs half as often.

None of the governments formulas take this into consideration, to them one size fits all.

Turning off lights in the summer is important, using effecient outdoor lighting is necessary, look at all the streetlights out there. Unplug all the transformers in the house. Now a fifteen watt bulb is figured by the consumption of the element, what is the total wattage, the transformer also takes a little juice. When these bulbs get older the efficiency goes down also.

Seems that this technology is more of a sales scam that the governments push than an Eco-friendly item. I suppose these companies give contributions in this country and also bribes in other countries to get sales. Bringing a senator out to dinner is actually a bribe, buying donuts for the office is also a bribe. Salesmen do it all the time all over the country....probably all over the world. Even getting someone accepted to a prestigious group like a golf club can be considered a bribe. A country full of legal deceit and people not understanding how it works does not make it right, just legal. I see deceit everywhere, but it has become a part of society that is acceptable. I try not to partake, so I guess I am not normal because I do not like to do it. That is what we got though in this country and also in a lot of other countries, I guess that is the way it is. I really don't care, I just try to avoid those who push this deceit the most. I get along with most people, but I would rather hang out with those who do not practice deceit so much.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:05 AM
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originally posted by: blkcwbyhat
a reply to: ChristianJihad

sounds like the gov't did it right,sending it to a recycling place.Sounds like the recycler is a bit shady tho.Maybe he could win a fortune by turning whistleblower! They give a % of the epa fine to the informant.


The gov own the landfill, it's cheaper for gov to have someone else bare the (ill)legal burden of dumping its' own crap in its' own landfill. They fill out a certificate to themselves telling themselves they have disposed of X crap with a certified Recycler who they actually license and not inspect thoroughly.

No employee will ever talk simply because jobs are so hard to come by around here.

How to dispose of several hundred gallons of used paint thinners -

Place in suitable safe containers, pay a government licensed and vetted "Recycling company" a huge amount of money
to recycle it. The recycling company then stores the paint thinners in its yard, at the same time the local government inspectors warn the company that their rat infested garbage pile is now above rooftops and should be actioned immediately. Over the weekend the waste mountain spontaneously combusted, the paint thinners disappear and everyone is happy again.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad

Ok so if these bulbs break it can cause harm to the immune system, alter cognitive functioning, and cause lung damage? Those are the knowns. And the up side is few bucks savings on the energy bill and not needing to chamge the bulb as often? That is the dumbest trade off I've heard to date.

What is the motivation for a government to take incandescents away and have this be the only choice? Who comes up with these ideas?


I'm actually a little alarmed after seeing that video because I broke one of these once. The guy at home depot told me if one should break I shouldn't clean it up immediately, so I let it sit awhile. Then I swept it up and threw it in the regular garbage can (no special toxic waste disposal bins in my kitchen).

Does having a warning on every product dilute the message to some extent? I think for me it has many times. This isn't a paint thinner that has a childproof cap, is used infrequently, and is housed in a container that is made of thick plastic. I don't want something in my home that requires toxic waste training for the family. I hope the stares don't force these.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad
LED lights are the way to go. No mercury, longer life (up to 20-25 years) and consistent lumen output with no drop off.

And you can recycle them more effectively as the heat sinks are aluminum.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad


So don't buy CFL, buy LED. LED bulbs last twice if not 3 times as long as cfl (18 to 28 years depending on usage), they use a fraction of the energy and LED Bulbs throw more light.

CFL is the problem, don't blanket statement all Energy efficient bulbs.

An LED Bulb is 1.5 times the cost of a CFL, but lasts by far longer and uses 1/100th the energy.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:54 AM
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originally posted by: Dianec
a reply to: ChristianJihad

Ok so if these bulbs break it can cause harm to the immune system, alter cognitive functioning, and cause lung damage? Those are the knowns. And the up side is few bucks savings on the energy bill and not needing to chamge the bulb as often? That is the dumbest trade off I've heard to date.

What is the motivation for a government to take incandescents away and have this be the only choice? Who comes up with these ideas?




The same people who decided that we all had to have plastic bags instead of paper ones in order to save the trees. Now, the plastic bags are toxic, nonbiodegradable nightmare, or so we're told. So, the same people now tell us that we have to use reusable grocery bags that harbor disease causing bacteria that can contaminate our food ...

I won't have CFLs anywhere near my home. Fluorescent lighting is a potential migraine trigger, so we're slowly upgrading to LEDs in our fixtures.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 11:58 AM
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originally posted by: Hijinx
So don't buy CFL, buy LED. LED bulbs last twice if not 3 times as long as cfl (18 to 28 years depending on usage), they use a fraction of the energy and LED Bulbs throw more light.

CFL is the problem, don't blanket statement all Energy efficient bulbs.

An LED Bulb is 1.5 times the cost of a CFL, but lasts by far longer and uses 1/100th the energy.


This is very accurate and as someone who is in the industry I can tell you the costs are going down and performance is going up.

My company now offers pretty much anything comparable to an incandescent with similar lumen and kelvin outputs. We have 100W equivalents that use 17 watts and last for 25,000 hours (minimum).



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Fluorescents give me headaches as well. I'm pretty sure they agitate me mood wise too. I am not able to recall what LED lights are like, but would be willing to try one of those given their apparent safety. I was under the assumption all of the energy efficient ones were mercury based.

With regard to plastic shopping bags - they charge for them in some places in Cali. Three cents. Bring it back and you get your money back. If we're going to use them I think this is a good idea. Ideally, the boxes the food is shipped in should be set out for customers to use. They are useful at home, are sturdy and roomy, would save the store a good chunk of change, make carrying your groceries easier, and can be reused if the person wants to do so. Why break these down and put them in a landfill? If they recycle them why not let the customers break them down a bit more through use. I'm not sure why this isn't done.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: Dianec
I'm pretty sure they agitate me mood wise too. I am not able to recall what LED lights are like, but would be willing to try one of those given their apparent safety. I was under the assumption all of the energy efficient ones were mercury based.


A modern LED looks very similar to nearly identical to an Edison incandescent bulb. There is no mercury contained in the lamp, there is only the LED emitter and a driver. The rest of the device is an aluminum heat sink and some sort of lens.



edit on 29-6-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: Dianec

When I was a kid (1980s) they used to have the boxes stacked at the end of the checkouts and we used these to pack our goods in. Now you don't see any of the boxes which are flattened and not for customer use. We also used shopping bags and not the plastic ones that are causing so much problems, but it was mainly the boxes for the weekly shop.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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Great Information! Look at this.

www.youtube.com...

LED vs CSL Bulbs



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I also looked up what the LED lightbulb looks like so with your description to add I now know my energy audit guys put a mercury bulb in my kitchen. It's a coil shape.

So I guess when I have to change this I rent a hazmat suit? Just kidding but its crazy to be worried about such a thing. I am going to take a wild guess and say I bet 10% of people would take the time to dispose of a dangerous lightbulb properly. I am not even sure there is a place to transport the bulb to when it burns out. Had I know this was their choice I woulda asked for something different.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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I miss the extra heat of the incandescent bulbs but switched last year to LED's. It's been wonderful! saw a significant savings on my electric bill and better yet they don't draw bugs to the outside lights. Our recycling pick-up is spotty at best and most times you just see the garbage guys toss the stuff right onto the truck.
Pretty pointless.



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:09 PM
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Also the light output from these bulbs gives me a nausea. wonder if any studies have been done in this regard
a reply to: ChristianJihad



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: ChristianJihad

I work in a locksmiths shop. We also cover basic hardware supplies, including lightbulbs. We do not stock CFL or any similar energy saving bulbs here, precisely because of the toxins which are used in the manufacture and as a component of these new bulbs. I actually have ATS to thank for illuminating (did you see what I did there?) the dangers of these items, because most of the packages which those bulbs come in, do not explicitly state that the bulbs contain dangerous chemical components, or at least, they did not at the time when we last stocked them. I first heard of the presence of mercury in those bulbs, through a link to a news article, right here on ATS.

Had I been aware that these bulbs contained mercury, I never would have allowed them to be stocked here. We still sell the old incandescent bulbs here, although the packaging in which they arrive now states "Not for domestic use. Industrial applications only.". The reason the packaging on the incandescent bulbs now carries this caveat, is so that they can continue to be sold, although pretty much everyone who buys them, needs them for home use.

We have had people come into our shop, with broken CFLs before now, and when they do, we get a plastic bag, we seal the ruined bulb inside it, and then we ask them how the bulb came to be in this state. If it broke while they were touching it, or in the room when it broke, we recommend that they seek medical advice, because mercury is not just toxic when breathed into the lungs, or through the olfactory nerves, but is also poisonous on contact with skin.

Therefore we bid them to their doctor with all possible haste as a priority. Then we explain to them that the area in which the bulb fell or broke will have to be carefully cleaned, and we will direct them to websites which might have good advice about proper decontamination procedure for mercury. Then we explain also, that we do not sell those bulbs for that reason, and also that we cannot dispose of those bulbs in our waste bins, because they are not regular household waste, but technically are a hazardous material, and in order to dispose of them, they should seek guidance from the local council about which facilities deal with this sort of waste.

They often immediately get on the phone to their doctors, and leave the store, bemused about the situation and baffled that they could have been sold such a dangerous product without having been made aware of its contents. We very often see them later that week, for the purpose of replacing all their CFL with good old fashioned incandescent lights.

It must be said also, that there is an incandescent lightbulb in a fire station in America, which has been running continuously since around 1908, and has only been switched off once or twice in all that time. With incandescent bulbs, the factor which dictates their lifespan is not how long they run for, but the number of times they are switched on and off. It is the constant heating and cooling of a bulb which ordinarily affects their lifespan, because the heating and cooling process weakens the filament inside the bulb. When that filament breaks, the bulb can no longer produce light, since the circuit is broken, and no energy can be transmitted through the filament in that scenario.

Something else to mention on the subject of energy efficiency. It is true that incandescent bulbs do not last under normal, on again, off again use, and that they use more energy than their more dangerous counterparts. However, all is not lost. You can have good lighting, safely, and less expensively in terms of energy usage. Purchase LED lighting systems instead! They are smaller, cheaper to run, not full of dangerous chemicals, and last one hell of a long time. Furthermore, LED technology is improving by degrees all the time. You can use them anywhere you would use a regular bulb, a fluorescent strip, or a halogen light.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: Dianec
I also looked up what the LED lightbulb looks like so with your description to add I now know my energy audit guys put a mercury bulb in my kitchen. It's a coil shape.


Yes, it would appear they installed CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lights) which do contain mercury.

So I guess when I have to change this I rent a hazmat suit? Just kidding but its crazy to be worried about such a thing. I am going to take a wild guess and say I bet 10% of people would take the time to dispose of a dangerous lightbulb properly. I am not even sure there is a place to transport the bulb to when it burns out. Had I know this was their choice I woulda asked for something different.


All joking aside if you break one technically your are supposed to follow these highly detailed and involved steps:


Before you start:
•Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the breakage. This can spread mercury vapor and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum.
•Keep people and pets away from the area until cleanup is complete.
•Open windows to ventilate and leave the area for 15 minutes before beginning the cleanup. Mercury vapor levels will be lower by then.
•Turn off heating or air conditioning to room.
•Gather clean up supplies:
◦Dishwashing or disposable gloves;
◦A glass container with a metal screw top lid like an empty canning or pickle jar that can be securely closed is the best choice for containing mercury vapors;
(If you do not have a glass jar, you can use an empty heavy duty plastic #2 container with a screw or snap on lid, like a kitty litter container, but make sure you remove it from the house as soon as you complete the cleanup.)
◦Stiff paper, like index cards or playing cards;
◦Duct, packing or masking tape; and
◦Damp paper towels or wet wipes.

Cleanup, step by step:
•Wear dishwashing or disposable gloves while cleaning up the broken mercury lamp.
•Carefully place the larger broken pieces in your container.
◦What if my broken lamp pieces do not fit in my container?
•Next, begin collecting the smaller pieces and dust. You can use two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards to scoop up pieces.
•Pat the area with the sticky side your tape to pick up fine particles.
•Wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel to pick up even smaller bits.
•Put all waste and materials used to clean up into the container including paper, tape, wet wipes, paper towels and gloves. Label the container as “broken lamp – contains mercury”.
•Remove the container with the breakage and cleanup materials from your living space. This is particularly important if you did not use a glass container.
•A cool garage or storage shed is the best place to protect the container until you can take it to your local solid waste facility.
•Wash your hands and face.

After the cleanup:
•Continue ventilating the room for several hours.
•As soon as possible, take the container with the waste material to a facility that accepts “universal waste” for recycling. Find a universal waste facility near you: municipal collection sites (pdf format) or call your municipal office.
•When a break happens on carpeting, homeowners may consider removing throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred as a precaution, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women. If the carpet is not removed, open the window to the room during the next several times you vacuum the area to provide good ventilation. Source

LED is the way to go. The cost returns and environmental aspects totally outweigh CFL's.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
Purchase LED lighting systems instead! They are smaller, cheaper to run, not full of dangerous chemicals, and last one hell of a long time. Furthermore, LED technology is improving by degrees all the time. You can use them anywhere you would use a regular bulb, a fluorescent strip, or a halogen light.


Thanks for the plug TrueBrit. The company I work for is launching LED tubes which are a direct replacement for fluorescent tubes, three-way A-lamps and various other products which totally eliminate the need to use incandescent and fluorescent lamps.

On a side note, does your avatar ever get a hangover?



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