CFLs suck – we’ve been duped.May 16, 2008
This isn’t necessarily new news, but it was new to me. Carbon fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) have dangerous levels of mercury, need to be recycled (not thrown away) to be environmentally safe and don’t last nearly as long as they say they so unless you leave them on for extended periods of time.
The wikipedia entry is probably pretty decent, but I wonder what the truth is about how long the bulbs need to be on to ensure long life.
This post at the environmental defense fund’s site is a very interesting read. Make sure to read this comment by lees on March 13, 2008. I don’t know if Dr. Jim Balbus, the author of the blog post was trying to spin this up or not, but I have to say, my bullshit sensors went off just from the way he presented his arguments. The line about throwing them away in a ziplock bag really got to me – talk about a crock of shit.
So, I think we’ve been duped about the great benefits of CFLs. The idea that consumers will somehow become educated on the “proper applications” and disposal of light bulbs is seriously irresponsible.
Its not as bad as WMD, but its bad. Do you know where you can recycle these things? When is the last time you recycled one? How about your workplace? Are you using them there and do you think they are being recycled correctly? I bet most of them are being tossed in the garbage, just like most fluorescent bulbs were for decades.