Stay of Execution!
The incandescent light bulb will be around a bit longer now that the GOP seems to have effectively booted the ban on the bulb that was to go into effect in January 2012. And of course, General Electric, the company that proclaims crony capitalism as their most important product, is not very happy about the rebirth of that old-fashioned energy waster. Having positioned themselves to mass produce the mercury-contaminated CFL bulbs, GE is now in a tizzy over the last-minute rug-pulling by the GOP.
But the big bonus of energy efficiency brought by the new CFL wonder bulbs may be eclipsed by the environmental and human hazards that these super light sources also bring to the big business of illumination.
The problem with the bulbs is that they’ll break before they get to the landfill. They’ll break in containers, or they’ll break in a dumpster or they’ll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens,” says John Skinner, Executive Director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, the trade group for the people who handle trash and recycling. Skinner says when bulbs break near homes, they can contaminate the soil. NPR
And what happens if a homeowner breaks one of these futuristic energy-saving bulbs in their home sweet home? And wasn’t there a concern about mercury particles getting into the air if the bulbs are left on for long periods of time?
Ah well, not to worry, America. The likes of GE and Obama are on the case. So breathe deep while you sleep, and always remember, that a little bit of lung cancer is a small price to pay for the progressive idea of progress.