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The cost to change a lightbulb

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Laveric



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 883
Location: Rochester Hills, Michigan
The cost to change a lightbulb  Reply with quote  

I ran across this article today about compact fluorescent light bulbs. Read it here.
Why would I post this is politics? Because it cost the woman $2,004.28 to clean up after one of them broke. Considering that California, and many others are looking to switch completely to this technology... what is it going to cost us all in the end?

Which is more important, saving energy now, or cleaning up the mercury later?

Post Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:38 am   View user's profile Send private message
Kar98



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 3170
Location: Dallas, Texas
 Reply with quote  

I'm using these bulb since the mid-90s and I've had _one_ die on me in over a decade.
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Post Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
CheshireFrog



Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 214
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
 Reply with quote  

That article, while interesting, had a bit of a slant to it.

The single biggest producers of mercury pollution in North America are coal burning power plants. An EPA study showed that the total mercury production for powering an incandescent bulb over a five year period is still more than the mercury production for powering a CFL over the same period plus the mercury contained in the CFL. See http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf

I'd be interested in knowing the conditions that the mercury levels in this home were tested under, i.e. did the tester test ambient levels, or did they jam the probe into the carpet at the break site. Also, I'd like to see the test performed after cleaning up the break using normal household cleaners.

In the interest of protecting the environment the ultimate answer will probably be to set up recycling stations for old bulbs. Depending on the price of mercury and the cost of recovering it, there might be a business opportunity here.
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Post Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Butch the Vizsla



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 558
Location: Branford, CT
 Reply with quote  

That was a bit of an overstatement.

CFL's contain less mercury than regular lightbulbs:

http://www.nema.org/lamprecycle/epafactsheet-cfl.pdf

They contain about the same amount as found in the tip of a ballpoint pen:

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf

but then again, it would be just like the government to push a new energy efficient system on the public only to find it more dangerous...remember nuclear power?
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Post Tue May 01, 2007 11:11 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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