The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Still Dim Bulbs

From the People's Republic of Maine, we get a quick preview of how life under an incandescent lightbulb ban will look like:

"Mercury is pollution. Booooo!"
On that Tuesday, Bridges was installing one of the spiral-shaped light bulbs in her 7-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Suddenly, the bulb plummeted to the floor, breaking on the shag carpet.


Bridges was told by the specialist not to clean up the bulb and mercury powder by herself. He recommended the Clean Harbors Environmental Services branch in Hampden.

Clean Harbors gave Bridges a low-ball estimate of $2,000, based on what she described, to clean up the room properly. The work entailed removing anything with levels greater than 300 ng/m3, including the carpeting.

One month later, Bridges’ daughter’s bedroom remains sealed off with plastic “to avoid any dust blowing around” and to keep the family’s pets from going in and out of the room.

$2,000? To clean up a lightbulb?

That's a pretty expensive dim bulb, ain't it?

So, do y'all still think that banning incandescents in favour of a dramatically more poisonous substance is an "environmentally responsible" way to proceed? I sure as heck don't!

Update: I'm not exactly taking her side in this either, by the way. I think much of the hype surrounding "mercuric poisoning" is overblown--considering how many people from our parents' generation had at one time played with a bead of mercury at some point in their childhood without any ill effects. So yeah, the story's not entirely a condemnation of CF lightbulbs as much as it is me chuckling at hype and overreaction to a small spill.



#1 captainfish 12-Apr-2007
I also used to love taking the long tube flourscent bulbs and breaking them in a way that they would "pop" or explode. Fun times. At the time, did not realize there was mercury in there.

If you look on any packaging of those CFLs, they tell you to dispose of them in an approved landfill or you can pay $10-$20 to have them properly disposed of.

According to some laws, I believe, some landfills can charge YOU for dumping of these bulbs as they are a hazardous waste material.

My son came in to the living room one night to show me a rash he was having. We turned on our overhead light with three CFLs. It took a good minute or so before the bulbs warmed up to the point where I could clearly see. At a time when I was REALLY wanting to see right then, having to wait that long was frustrating. But, other times, I do not mind the bulbs.
#2 Brian 12-Apr-2007
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean - I used to enjoy "popping" flourescent tubes too. Life was *much* better before we started worrying about every little thing, right?

I personally can't _stand_ the CF bulbs (or any other flourescent light, for that matter). I constantly see "flicker" from them, and tend to get headaches when I spend too much time around 'em.

Does that make me an old fuddy-duddy? As in, "You can pry my candlesticks from my cold, dead hands?"


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