Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Destroying your environment

John Hinderaker at Powerline reminds everyone of the ridiculous consequences that come with CFL lightbulbs.  But taking the EPA's instructions one step further, it is possible that CFL lightbulbs could destroy your house and put your very life in danger.  Consider this from the EPA-

Before Cleanup
-Have people and pets leave the room, and avoid the breakage area on the way out.
-Open a window or door to the outdoors and leave the room for 5‐10 minutes.
-Shut off the central forced‐air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.

Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces
-If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:
-Keep a window or door to the outdoors open
-Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as
  practical, for several hours.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rugs: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming
-The next several times you vacuum the rug or carpet, shut off the H&AC system if you have one, close
the doors to other rooms, and open a window or door to the outside before vacuuming. Change the
vacuum bag after each use in this area.
-After vacuuming is completed, keep the H&AC system shut off and the window or door to the outside
open, as practical, for several hours
.

Now consider the fact that last week in International Falls, MN it was 46 degrees below zero.  Air temperature, not wind chill. All across Minnesota, the air temperature was -20 or colder for several hours.  Now picture yourself trying to clean up a broken CFL bulb in -20 below weather.

Depending on the size of your house, opening a window and turning off the furnace could put the temperature in the house below zero within 5 minutes.  According to the Weather Channel, water pipes can freeze in an air temperature of 20 degrees.  That's outside the house temperature of 20 degrees.

At a temperature of 0 degrees and even with no wind, frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes, which would likely not be long enough to clean up the toxic mercury in your environment saving lightbulb.

On the other hand, you can pick up a 24 pack of 100 watt bulbs at Lowes for about 10 bucks; less than 50 cents a bulb.  But make sure you buy them up this year, because starting Jan 1st 2012, incandescent light bulbs will begin a phased in ban.

Or we could just get Congress to abolish the ban, and not have to risk frostbite, hypothermia or major home damage just to clean up a broken lightbulb.

1 comment:

Panta Rei said...

Dave, abolish the ban itself rather!

Ok CFLs have problems, as many point out,
but that's not the overall point in my view...

All lights have their advantages, and even if there were energy savings,
citizens pay for the electricity they use.
There is no energy or electricity shortage justifying a limitation on what
citizens can use,
and if there was a shortage of finite coal/oil/gas, their price rise limits their use anyway - without legislation.

Emissions? Light bulbs don't give out CO2 gas -power plants might.

If there is an energy supply/emissions problem - deal with the problem!

Why supposed energy savings are not there anyway:
http://ceolas.net/#li171x
with US Dept of Energy references = Under 1% overall energy savings
from efficiency regulations on incandescent lights....