Skip to comments.Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'
Posted on 04/21/2011 7:34:10 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
Energy saving light bulbs 'contain cancer causing chemicals'
Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.
By Victoria Ward 7:16AM BST 20 Apr 2011
Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someones head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on.
Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.
The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year.
But the German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene.
Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: Electrical smog develops around these lamps.
I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
This is one more news item I don’t expect to find covered by the US state-controlled media.
And the last US light bulb factory is closed
When the US shuts down there won’t be anybody around to turn off the light.
Hey, Thats A LOT worse than those asthma causing coal plants!! How come he doesn’t bring that up in his town halls?
When the US shuts down there wont be anybody around to turn off the light.
The world will miss the USA.
Maybe this is why GE is down after a killer income last quarter.
Look at the chemicals and rare earths that go into the manufacture of “pollution-free electric car” batteries, or the process that produces some kinds of solar photovoltaic cells.
Life is full of trade-offs. The politically correct are always in search of either a technological “silver bullet” that is all benefit with not problems (which doesn't usually exist) or doing without as a modern form of puritanical self-denial.
The “Electric Power Conservation movement” is the perfect marriage of these two groups. 30 years ago their spokesman at the time, Amory Lovins said that “...giving people a cheap source of electricity was the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
In my opinion for most people, low energy use light bulbs aren't about saving energy, they are about looking politically correct and feeling good about “doing something for the environment.”
I love irony
At this time I am pulling for the trial lawyers to bankrupt GE.
I don’t understand. Please clarify.
Please disregard my “Please clarify”. I get it. Thanks.
The "news item" contains no useable information. Note that nowhere are the AMOUNTS of the various materials given off listed. Just because they "detect" a chemical is no indication that any dangerous level has been reached.
Today's analytical instruments are so exquisitely sensitive that you can now find almost anything IN almost anything.
I bought a lifetime supply of incandessent bulbs two years ago.
which means we are just seconds away from our parasite lawyah class turning on them
I will place that warning right next to the Lead warning CA mandates on PVC power-cords. The computer you are using will emit far more of these same chemicals than a CFL.
Thank you for the link. Posted it to my facebook page, with an added comment about the mercury content, and that I saw one of these bulbs at the dump, still in the lamp that was being thrown away. How much of this is going on already? I’ll go to kerosene and candles before I buy these crappy ass bulbs. Or just a good old flashlight with those REALLY bright LEDS. Those things are amazing.
I hope Obama uses these to read by.
Just wondering....how come the sanitation union isn’t up in arms about this?????
Could someone explain the difference in chemical makeup between an ordinary fluorescent light that has been in wide use for more than 50 years and a compact fluorescent light? The chemical makeup of the fluorescent light must include the ballast.
I buy incandescent bulbs for my grand kids:)
I actually like CFL's, but am adamantly opposed to the "banning" of incandescents. The Feds are usurping authority they do not have by issuing such an edict.
I don't have that many but did restock my supply last month.
Same here. Less heat is always a good thing for my preferences, but folks should be able to buy and use the kind they like.
Electrical smog? WTF?
A 50-year-old fluorescent light fixture would have the ballast encased in a metal box; the fixture itself would likely be made of metal. In case of a critical malfunction the ballast might catch fire, but the metal enclosure would most likely prevent it from igniting anything else. The ballasts 50 years ago didn't often didn't contain any fire-retardant chemicals, but the metal enclosure would mitigate fire risk. Note that such fixtures often had a three-prong cord, with the ground terminal tied to the metal case, to prevent a shock hazard in case a failing ballast developed a short between the live wire and the case.
Newly-manufactured fixtures use electronics which are more energy-efficient than the classic ballast, but are also more prone to exothermic failure. Although some full-sized fixtures may still encase the ballast in metal, many instead rely upon fire-retardant plastics. Although flame retardant plastics are often effective at preventing fires, many of them work by outgassing nasty fire-suppressant chemicals when heated. This would be great if the plastics only outgassed the chemicals in situations where they would otherwise burn. Unfortunately, the plastics will outgas the chemicals (albeit more slowly) when they are heated to a point well short of combustion; some CFL electronics get hot enough to cause such behavior. Not only do the released chemicals pose health risks, but the fact that they've been released can render them ineffective in preventing fires. A lamp which develops a fault which causes it to run very hot for a few months but still work apparently normally could burst into flames if a more critical fault occurs.
It might be logical to require CFLs to shut down or switch to an intermittent mode of operation if they get hot enough to cause outgassing. Unfortunately, that would give CFL's an even worse reputation with regard to reliability.
“difference in chemical makeup between an ordinary fluorescent light and CFL”
Thanks for the informative reply, which is delayed because I was on vacation.
Hadn’t thought of the heat-caused emissions from the plastics in the ballasts. I recall that the old metal-encased ballasts get hot and often need replacing. They could have emissions when hot also, huh?
I still don’t see a reason why the new CFLS are any more harmful to the environment than the old fluorescents.
Not really. The issue isn't so much the plastic inside the ballasts, but rather the plastic enclosure itself. Metal is a much better conductor of heat than plastic, and so the old metal-cased ballasts didn't get as hot as the newer ones; metal also doesn't generally give off nasty fumes when heated (unless it gets really, really hot).