Understanding The Dangers of Fluorescent Light Bulbs .


You see them in every grocery store and home center – those funny-looking curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that are rapidly replacing the old round bulbs. And pretty soon, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 kicks in, requiring bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2012 to 2014, and 70 percent more efficient by 2020, effectively phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs as a way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy efficiency of CFLs may be significant, but unlike traditional light bulbs, there is a hidden danger sealed inside each little bulb that requires special handling and disposal.

Mercury – a potent, developmental neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effects. Even at low levels, mercury is capable of causing a number of health problems including impair motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. Higher or prolonged exposure can result in much more serious health problems.

CFLs are marketed as “safe” and don’t pose any health risks as long as the glass remains intact. The danger comes if the bulbs are cracked, broken or not disposed of properly. Although it sounds like a miniscule amount – 4 to 5 milligrams – there is enough mercury in just one fluorescent light bulb to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

So what does that mean if a CFL is cracked or breaks in our homes, releasing mercury vapors in an enclosed area?

Consumers – especially those with young children –need to know what to do when a CFL breaks and the proper way to dispose of used bulbs. It’s no longer as easy as changing a light bulb.

MERCURY WARNING:

Compact fluorescent light-bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury and care must be taken in disposing of them or when they break.

The EPA suggests the following:
o People and pets should immediately leave the room.

o Open a window and/or door and Air out the room for 5 to 10 minutes.

o Turn off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system.

o Thoroughly collect broken glass and visible powder using wet cloths. Never use vacuum cleaners or brooms.

o Put all debris and cleanup materials in a sealable container and put outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Do not leaving bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

o If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

All of this needs to be done to protect people from the tiny amount of mercury in one fluorescent light bulb. Which begs the question, are these lights really safe and are the risks worth it?

Another equally important concern is what happens to the environment – the air, soil and water – when tons of discarded bulbs, along with the mercury, are dumped into local landfills?

The threat posed by billions of broken CFLs lying in landfills has resulted in some communities requiring their citizens to discard used and broken CFLs in designated recycling centers or in a hazardous-waste collection facility.

Given the known deleterious effects caused by mercury, it would seem logical to assume there will be some unintended consequences resulting from the switch to compact fluorescent lights.

Only time will tell how significant those consequences will be.

If you are concerned about the possible health risks associated with CFLs, LED or halogen lights are good alternatives. Both cost a little more but are as efficient as CFLs and can be recycled easily.

 

Compact Fluorescent Lamps are designed to fit standard light sockets as an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs have spiraling or elongated U-shaped tubes known as a single-envelope unit; the double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs have the tubes inside a glass bulb. Consumers should be aware of dangers associated with CFL bulbs before bringing the units into the home, school or workplace.

Mercury Content

Although CFLs are considered extremely energy efficient, each bulb contains about 5mg “elemental mercury,” says U.S. Army-Ft. Wood. General Electric, a manufacturer of CFL bulbs, notes the amount equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen. GE further claims the mercury is an “essential, irreplaceable element” that allows the bulb to perform as an efficient light source, posing no danger during regular use. Elemental mercury is a bioaccumulative neurotoxin that effects multiple neurological responses. High exposures may affect the kidneys, lead to respiratory failure and death. In addition, mercury accumulates in the environment, vaporizing into the air and leaching into water supplies.

Radiation Emissions

  • CFL bulbs are subject to scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as electronic products that emit ultraviolet radiation. However, as of May 2011, the FDA did not have “specific standards or annual reporting requirements” for manufacturers because the bulbs are considered of little concern, having insignificant levels of radiation. CFLs emit a small amount of UVA, UVB and infrared radiation, according to the FDA. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency tested CFLs from various manufacturers. With the exception of people with photosensitive medical conditions, such as lupus, ARPANSA noted that CFLs are suitable for use at distances beyond 10 inches. However, when using desktop and other close lamps, it’s advisable to utilize double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs.

Electrical Sensitivity

  • Electrical sensitivity, also known as electrical hypersensitivity and electromagnet hypersensitivity, is a recognized disability with chronic and systematic reactions to electromagnet fields given off by wiring, electrical equipment, transformers and florescent lighting — including CFLs. Approximately 8 million Americans experience electrical sensitivities, according to the Research & Training Center on Independent Living. It causes nervous system symptoms such as headache, fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances; skin symptoms including prickling, burning sensations and rashes, and pain and ache to muscles, as well as many other health problems. CFLs contribute to electrical sensitivity by emitting electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Electromagnet radiation, also known as electromagnetic frequencies — EMF — is a naturally occurring energy. Technological advances such as CFL bulbs have increased the EMF in modern environments. The electromagnet radiation bundle includes dirty electricity — sometimes called dirty power — electrical pollution and radio waves. Most of the EMF fields experienced every day and emitted from CFL bulbs are non-ionizing radiation and considered safe. However, for people with electrical sensitivity, CFL bulbs have significant accumulative dangers, according to ElectroSensitivity UK News.

Harvard Scientist Urges People to Stop Drinking “Low-Fat” Milk Immediately .


Veggie lovers may have been right all along.While crude, natural milk offers various medical advantages, however, a Harvard specialist and pediatrician contends that customary milk and dairy items apparently equivalent are a burden to your wellbeing – thanks to added health-compromising sweeteners.

Harvard Scientist Urges People to Stop Drinking “Low-Fat” Milk Immediately

As David Ludwig explained in his exploration (distributed in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics), there have been countless bits of examination finishing up the evil impacts of sugar-sweetened refreshments.

Over-utilization of sugar has been attached to a number of health problems, such as weight gain, diabetes, provocative related torment, and many more.

Furthermore, due to sugar’s negative impacts on our health, the United States Department of Agriculture, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other organizationshave suggested against devouring calories from sugary beverages.

Lessened fat milk, is the one calorie-containing refreshment they still intensely advance. The association prescribes drinking 3 glasses a day, and this is where Ludwig questions the logical reason for such proposals.

“This recommendation to drink three cups a day of milk – it’s perhaps the most prevailing advice given to the American public about diet in the last half century. As a result, Americans are consuming billions of gallons of milk a year, presumably under the assumption that their bones would crumble without them,” Ludwig said.

If the USDA is prescribing drinking decreased fat milk, it is accidentally empowering the utilization of included sugars – a suggestion that goes against every examination saying not to expend sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks. This is why Ludwig is concerned.

The mere thought of expending low-fat milk or chocolate milk,goes against the entire thinking for the proposal in any case since the fats are essentially being supplanted with hazardous sugars.

“The worst possible situation is reduced-fat chocolate milk: you take out the fat, it’s less tasty. So to get kids to drink 3 cups a day, you get this sugar-sweetened beverage,” Ludwig said. ”…we can get plenty of calcium from a whole range of foods. On a gram for gram basis, cooked kale has more calcium than milk. Sardines, nuts seeds beans, green leafy vegetables are all sources of calcium.” – He continued.

The Case against Low-Fat Dairy, and Other Dangers of Milk

David Ludwig really is on point in examining and eventually condemning the USDA’s proposals, but nevertheless there is substantially more to the full-fat versus decreased fat contention for milk and dairy items.

Motivations to maintain a strategic distance from specific fats, for example, trans-fats and refined polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils (like corn, soy, sunflower, and canola) are a lot, however, the proof for adequate utilization of immersed fat, which is found in milk, coconut oil, and grass-nourished area creatures, is sky-rocketing.

While immersed, fat was reviled for a considerable length of time, a 2010 examination distributed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reasoned that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of [coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease].”

There are various profits to drinking full-fat dairy items. full-fat dairy has been found in exploration to conceivably advance heart wellbeing, control diabetes, help in vitamin ingestion, lower inside disease hazard, and even support in weight reduction, in its most unadulterated state (crude, natural, and originating from grass-encouraged dairy animals). And while immaculate dairy could advance your wellbeing, customary dairy may demonstrate harming.

Before you expend more traditional dairy, please instruct yourself in the matter of what’s in your dairy. You’d be astonished that there could be 20+ painkillers, anti-toxins, and significantly additionally slinking in your milk.