Traditional, incandescent light bulbs are on the verge of being banned by governments in many jurisdictions throughout the developed world. In their place, we are encouraged to use compact florescent lightbulbs. But does nanny really know best?

To discover CFLs’ negatives, try setting a romantic mood with a dimmer switch. This is, at best, a hit or miss proposition. Scarier still, just drop one onto your kitchen floor. Its internal mercury is highly toxic. If spilled, it requires something approximating a Superfund cleanup. The Environmental Protection Agency warns that if a CFL breaks on one’s apparel or bedspread, “Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage” (emphasis added).

CFLs should be discarded at recycling centers. Hundreds of millions of busy Americans, however, will toss these dangerous bulbs in the trash, atop table scraps and junk mail. CFLs will clog landfills from coast to coast. Decades hence, mercury will have leeched into the environment. Americans will wonder why people are suffering brain, kidney, and lung damage. Medical visits will yield lawsuits. And yet another national disaster will erupt, courtesy of Washington, D.C. 

ht: International Liberty

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