Sunday, August 30, 2015

New CLF clean-up guidelines

I could be way wrong, but I've never thought of CFLs, those swirly energy-saving lightbulbs, as much more than a bridge technology. I'm looking more toward even more-efficient LED bulbs, which are becoming better and better, as well as available in more and more places. (And, soon, we hope, cheaper and cheaper.)

New CLF clean-up guidelines

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I could be way wrong, but I've never thought of CFLs, those swirly energy-saving lightbulbs, as much more than a bridge technology. I'm looking more toward even more-efficient LED bulbs, which are becoming better and better, as well as available in more and more places. (And, soon, we hope, cheaper and cheaper.)

It's not only the CFL light quality, which has improved, but also the fact that the bulbs have mercury in them. It's a toxic chemical, and clean-up can be a real job. In fact, it's such a big deal that Durham, N.C., LED manufacturer Cree recently produced a hilarious video about poor Grandma dropping a bulb, and what happens next. I'll paste it below.

Meanwhile, the EPA has released new CFL clean-up standards. As far as I can tell, they're pretty much the same -- leave the room and air it out, make sure you put all the smashed bulb parts in an air-tight container, etc. etc. 

What seems different is that they note ALL fluorescent bulbs have mercury, which may come as a surprise to those who call me and scream about CFLs. I bet they have other fluorescents in their garage or basement.  

Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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