Oh great, I just finish writing a blog about how CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) can save the Earth and now WCVB in Boston is reporting that they can kill you. It turns out CFLs, light bulbs that use 75% less energy than conventional bulbs, contain a tiny amount of mercury, about one percent of the amount once used in old thermometers. If the bulb breaks, it can release the deadly gas into the air. Quick, everyone panic! Actually, not so fast. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, CFLs contain a “very tiny, tiny amount of mercury” and only pose a danger for babies, small children, and pregnant women. Consumers are urged to take the simple precaution of avoiding using the bulbs on table lights and other places where they can be easily broken. I can’t remember the last time I broke a light bulb. Or a thermometer for that matter. Do the benefits outweigh the risk? Considering CFLs last ten times as long as conventional light bulbs and result in big energy savings, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Credit: WCVB news story