USA and Canada to stop selling incandescent bulbs ( hoarding started )

| June 2, 2011 | 1 Comment

Americans have begun hoarding incandescent light bulbs ahead of a government ban next year that has been labeled “outrageous” by one pressure group as Ron Paul leads a charge in Congress to repeal the draconian state phaseout of Thomas Edison’s iconic invention.A 2007 bill signed in to law by President George W. Bush mandates that, “Manufacturers will no longer be able to make the 100-watt Thomas Edison bulb after Jan. 1, 2012, followed by the 75-watt version in Jan. 2013, and the the 60- and 40-watt bulbs in Jan. 2014.”The legislation mirrors similar laws in Europe, where incandescent bulbs began to be phased out in 2009. The EU also plans to ban halogen bulbs by 2016, forcing people to use compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, which produce a poor quality of light with an attendant flicker affect that causes many people to become dizzy and ill.“Neurologists are increasingly taking notice of the headaches and migraines being reported by people exposed to compact fluorescent light bulbs,” writes Mike Adams, noting that electromagnetic pollution caused by the so-called “energy efficient” bulbs is “causing devastating health effects on some people.”

The so-called “dirty energy” emitted by CFLs produces radiation that has been linked with migraine headaches, sleep abnormalities, fatigue, and other health defects.CFLs are also more harmful to the environment because they are filled with toxic mercury that contaminates the environment when the bulbs reach the landfill.“A report released in 2008 from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection revealed that when a CFL bulb is broken, it can release dangerously high levels of mercury into the air,” writes Ethan Huff. Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia last week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.“In Toronto, city officials require people to dispose of CFL bulbs at special hazardous waste facilities because they don’t want the city’s landfills to become contaminated with mercury. While used CFL bulbs are not legally recognized as hazardous waste, they are treated as such because they pose serious environmental threats when broken and released into the environment.”

LED and CFL bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescents, the company says, and last up to 10 times longer.Sears Canada also plans to make changes to the lighting in their stores, completing a switch to LED lighting by the end of August 2011.According to a USA Today article, Americans have begun stockpiling dwindling supplies of incandescent light bulbs as the ban nears. Despite its best efforts to coerce subservience amongst Americans, the article discusses how people are buying bulk supplies of traditional light bulbs so that people “will be able to read in bed without squinting.”

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  1. Brad Buscher says:

    CFLs are better solution, both economically and environmentally. They do save energy, but they also contain small amounts of mercury. Recycling mercury-containing products, including CFLs, is becoming an important issue. As this article states, it is important for consumers to realize that CFLs and fluorescent bulbs require special handling and disposal. Like all mercury-containing fluorescent lights, CFLs should be properly stored, transported and recycled to prevent these fragile bulbs from breaking and emitting hazardous mercury vapor. They cannot be thrown away in the trash, but should be taken to a recycling center or disposed of by using a proven recycling box. However, taking them to a recycling center may not always be the most efficient solution. Consumers can use a recycling box to ship bulbs instead. If consumers choose this option, it is important to select a packaging configuration that effectively contains mercury vapor. A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota tested the effectiveness of various packages in containing mercury vapor emitted from broken fluorescent lamps. The study found that many packages do not sufficiently contain mercury vapor, such as single-layer cardboard boxes (representing the original manufacturer’s box or container) as well as single layer boxes with a sealed plastic bag. Just one configuration—consisting of a zip-closure plastic-foil laminate bag layered between two cardboard boxes—minimized exposure levels below acceptable occupational limits, as defined by state and federal regulations and guidelines. Find out more about this proven packaging method at: vaporlok.blogspot.com/2010/05/layers-of-protection-packaging-used.html
    If a bulb breaks, consumers can learn more about clean-up procedures here: epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup-detailed.html

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