CFL’s: Not such a bright idea!

Here’s some great info I bet you didn’t know!  My husband suggested I read this article in May 2013’s issue of Men’s Health Magazine.  He thought it was right up my alley and boy was he right!  I was excited to pass along this info to you!  After reading this, you might need to invest in a hazmat suit and start wearing sunscreen and sunglasses 24/7!

Due do the Energy Independence and Security Act, manufacturing of the incandescent light bulb is being phased out and by 2014 production will stop altogether.  Yep, you won’t even be able to find them on store shelves.  CFL light bulbs reduce energy consumption, last up to 10,000 hours (vs. 1,500 with an incandescent light bulb) and save consumers on average $100 per household, per year.  Seems like a great idea, right?  Who wouldn’t want to save money!?


The EPA is aware of CFLs emit harmful rays but says they are low and that the glass filters the effects.  They are generally considered safe by the EPA and the positives outweigh the negatives.  Fresh off the assembly line, this may be true, but the problem occurs when the brittle glass coating (phosphor) cracks from being twisted so tightly which is required to make them so compact and fit like a regular incandescent bulb.  Also, when the bulbs are being shipped from China, shoved on a store’s shelf, stored in a garage and handled by a consumer, they go through quite a bit of wear and tear.  This creates more possible damage to that brittle glass coating thus leading to possible UV leaks.  The bulbs that the EPA is testing are most likely treated gently and fresh off the assembly line so the phosphor coating isn’t cracked yet.


So how long does it take for the leaking UV rays to make harmful contact with you and your family?  In a study done by Miriam Rafailovich, PH.D., Stony Brook University in Long Island, of 9 store bought CFL light bulbs, it took one light bulb only 42 seconds to reach the amount of UV radiation allotted for an 8-hour period.  In addition to possible skin damage, don’t look into the light!  Without anything protecting the pupils, the radiation can go straight to the retina!  In short, when used in your home,  these CFL’s can have harmful effects within seconds and the EPA still thinks the positives of saving money is more important than our health.

So, what’s the difference between traditional straight fluorescent light bulbs and these compact twisted fluorescent ones?   The simple fact of the matter is that twisted fluorescents are not safe because they are twisted.  Straight ones are safe because they are straight and the phosphor coating is not cracked.  If the coating is cracked on a straight fluorescent, they can be just as harmful.

Do you own a hazmat suit!?  Be ready to put it on if you happen to break a CFL bulb in your home!  The bulbs contain mercury which turns into vapors when the glass is shattered.  Mercury vapors are a neuro-toxin that can linger in the air for about 4-5 hours after the bulb is broken.   If you clean up your spill properly, it’s not a problem.  But what the EPA doesn’t tell you is that there’s a 21-step process of the simply stated “proper clean-up.”  Evacuate your room for 5-10 minutes, shut of any central forced-air heating/AC; gather materials which include stiff paper or cardboard, sticky tape, damp paper towels and a glass jar with a metal lid or seal-able plastic bags.  Just absurdly ridiculous in my opinion.  Who is really going to do all this!?  Not the average consumer!


6 thoughts on “CFL’s: Not such a bright idea!

  1. That’s really interesting. This is the first I’ve seen or heard of this. . .off for more research! Thanks!

  2. Today, I was told by my ceiling fan man not to use them in the fans. They short out the mother boards in the fans. I have to replace my mother board but I don’t want to buy another Casablanca fan. My is old and was made here in the USA.

  3. The night before my last move, we tipped over a lamp and broke the cfl bulb. It was late, and we were trying to finish packing and go to bed but instead had to evacuate and then carefully clean up! So frustrating!

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