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mercury risks vs energy savings of flourescent globes

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5:17 am
June 26, 2009



posts 456

Post edited 12:14 pm – September 5, 2010 by admin

Are the new fluorescent energy efficient light bulbs as green as we think they are? What are the risks from mercury over the life cycle of the bulbs?

4:07 pm
January 29, 2013



posts 263

I don't know. Surely if it was a problem we would have heard about it by now … or perhaps maybe not? I wonder if the people who recycle them at the tip would know ?


Hey on lights though, I have some pretty strong thoughts. I agree that 'changing our lightbulbs' was a good awareness raising initiative in the start, I reckon it really got out of control. I feel like it was the federal government shifting the blame to us as a means to divert attention from what they were not doing. We all felt bad and started trying to become more environmentally friendly, and because we were distracted trying to deal with our own guilt, nobody heard the full story. Coal kept being mined and exported, our power stations kept being powered by fossil fuels. Nothing happened. 


Our emissions as the entire Australian society is only about a quarter of the emissions caused by our coal exports!!!


And even with household energy use, lights are about 3% of emissions. Heating and cooling, at about 80% is by far the largest contributer, followed by hot water, at about 15%!


I feel angry because I think what the Federal Government did was sneaky and unethical. I wish they would take responsibility for doing something real about climate change. Biosequestration through soil carbon could drawndown 500 times our direct emissions but it can't get started because it is caught up in the red tape of the carbon farming initiative!Yell 



4:49 pm
January 29, 2013



posts 456

Post edited 4:54 pm – January 29, 2013 by marea

Hi Cindy, I just did a google search and found a Scientific American article that indicates that compact fluorescent lights can pose a risk due to the mercury and should be disposed of carefully, especially if they break. Breakage can release mercury into the air and if that happens people are supposed to go outside for 15 minutes and air the house and then wear gloves when picking up pieces. They suggest putting broken pieces in a glass jar with a lid and taking them to a recycling place rather than putting them in landfill. The article says the benefits outweigh the risks as apparently coal fired power stations release more mercury.

Find the article here:


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mercury risks vs energy savings of flourescent globes

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