This is wandering a ways from RFI so we should put it to bed.
On 3/8/2011 3:02 PM, Diane & Edward Swynar wrote:
> On 8th March, Alan wrote:
> "...Re: disposal of CFLs. The same precautions are required as for the
> fluorescent tubes we've been using for decades..."
> Here's an interesting conumdrum that the powers-that-be here in Canada have
> gotten themselves into: we're about 1-2 years away here in the province of
> Ontario from outright BANNING the sale of "standard" incandesecent light
> bulbs, in our wise(?) move to "...go green"...
According to the powers that be (government and power companies) the
amount of mercury in a CFL is much smaller than the mercury released by
the power plant to power an incandescent to release the same lumens for
the life of the CFL. There is a LOT of *stuff* that comes out of the
coal fired power plant's stack among them being Mercury, Uranium and
Thorium. The *normal* radioactive release from a coal fired plant
exceeds the permissible levels for Nuclear power plants by several
So, even though the CFLs contain mercury and require the same disposal
methods as fluorescent lights, there is less mercury involved than would
be vented into the atmosphere to power the incandescent for the same
output over the life of the CFL. OTOH in most areas it's almost
impossible to find a place where fluorescent lights can be disposed of
properly. Just in the past year or so have we been able to return them
(watchout for line wrap) The relevant quote is the third heading from
"How do CFLs result in less mercury in the environment compared to
Electricity use is the main source of mercury emissions in the U.S. CFLs
use less electricity than incandescent
lights, meaning CFLs reduce the amount of mercury into the environment.
As shown in the table below, a 13-watt,
8,000-rated-hour-life CFL (60-watt equivalent; a common light bulb type)
will save 376 kWh over its lifetime, thus
avoiding 4.3 mg of mercury. If the bulb goes to a landfill, overall
emissions savings would drop a little, to 3.9 mg.
EPA recommends that CFLs are recycled where possible, to maximize
> ...And yet the federal government in Ottawa is banning/severely restricting
> the use of mercury in consumer goods (like thermometers, thermostats,etc.).
> Interestingly enough, there will be no restrictions on the use of mercury in
> dental fillings, and the wide-open useage of CFLs
> (containing---surprise!---mercury) is to be encouraged, BY LAW...
I don't think Mercury (amalgam) has been used in fillings state side for
> Does the right hand even know, or CARE, what the left hand is doing
I don't think its as clear cut as it sounds.
> ~73~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ
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