The various approaches to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps).
In New Zealand, March 2011:
IPENZ’s (Institution of Professional Engineers) weekly newsletter included an item about its submission to EECA. It included a mention of the mercury issue. The last two bullet points of the item were:
It is recommended that the packaging carry information about the mercury content of the CFLs, as this is likely to be of interest to consumers.
Regardless of what parameters are displayed on the packaging, consumer education will be required to enable the public to understand the parameters and make appropriate choices.
My preference would be to ban them altogether. However labelling and education is a good option. Thanks IPENZ.
However 3 months ago, in Germany this was happening:
Late last year I came across a couple of articles from Germany. The articles were at P Gosselin’s site, No Tricks Zone:
Germany is having second thoughts about CFLs (referred to as ESLs = Energy Saving Lamps there).
From the first item he notes the newspaper Die Welt reports:
Politicians in Brussels warn: No ESLs in children’s bedrooms. Because of too much mercury, the EU pols want to remove these lamps from the market.
Herbert Reul, a politician in Angela Merkl’s party said:
I will do everything in my power to roll back the ban of conventional light bulbs in the EU.
The reason for Reul’s statements are new findings from the German Federal Department of Environment (UBA). According to studies conducted by the authorities, energy saving lights…pose a serious health risk. If an energy saving light breaks, then, according to experts, a mercury level of 0.35 micrograms per cubic meter (20 times the allowable limit) can be released in a room. For this reason, particularly children and pregnant women should stay away from energy saving lights, recommend federal authorities.
The second article is about the disposal / recycling problems of CFLs. These are very very significant. Check it out at No Trick Zone:
So while German politicians work to ban mercury containing ESLs/CFLs, and German TV documentaries show the hazard clearly and strongly, New Zealand continues to sell them. And what’s more EECA promotes them with a cross subsidy. How very, very silly.