A Greener Indiana

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CFL Light Bulbs - A Response to Fear Mongering

I don't know how many people have seen the You Tube video of Mr. Poe's fear-laden speech before the house? Well, here's the link:
And, here's our response:

I don’t believe in forced legislation any more than most Americans. But we need good incentives for businesses and individuals to reduce electrical consumption and provide products that are more efficient and sustainable. This should be a bi-partisan issue. Let’s break down the four major points of Mr. Poe’s argument:
1. Mercury content – yes, there are TRACE amounts of Mercury in CFL’s – about 4-5 milligrams (which is one thousand times less than the old mercury thermometers) – when a bulb breaks only about 1/3 of the mercury is released into the air – even IF one person were to contact this entire amount of the 1.65 milligrams (which is virtually impossible) it is the same as eating one to two cans of tuna fish!
2. Expensive – the initial cost of a CFL is more expensive, but they last longer AND reduce your electricity bill – replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL’s for an average home will cost around $75 - $100, but because of their longer life expectancy the savings on you energy bill will be $500 to $750 – you actually save money, a concept even the farthest to the right should agree with!
3. Electromagnetic interference – CFL’s ballasts are set to a maximum of 40 kHz which is the same as the long tube fluorescent lights in your kitchen, office, etc. – every electrical device is “labeled” as having the possibility for this type of interference – it just doesn’t happen!
4. China made – here’s the area ALL AMERICANS SHOULD agree on – give USA manufacturers incentives to start producing these bulbs here – we can create jobs here as a result of good legislation that promotes green technologies and products – our economy will benefit from this strategy and we can put Americans back to work.

PS. Coal fired power plants in the US release about 48 TONS of mercury every year, that’s 48,544,867,520 milligrams!!!

UPDATE (1/29/09): Newer CFL's are now being made with even less Mercury - about 1 to 3.5 milligrams.

Green, Natural & Eco Friendly Products For Healthy Living by Tuwa

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Tags: CFL, bulbs, content, light, mercury, safety, truth


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Comment by Sally Thompson-Calderon on March 20, 2009 at 7:08pm
Hi Matthew -
Wow! Thank you SO much for your breakdown of one of the biggest 'fear-mongering' speaches I have ever seen by Rep. Ted Poe of Texas. Thank you also, for supplying the link so it could be watched again. I saw news bites of it on the evening news, but had not seen it in its entirety - made your hair stand on end didn't it? When you think of mainstream America buying into such nonsense backed up with virtually none of the facts you so diligently provided - it really is chilling to think about.
I have sent the link to everyone I know, along with your email so they can see the entire package of facts you so effectively provided.
Anything we can do to dispel the myths and fears that are being portrayed in the half-truths blasting from the news by 'our' representatives!
Also - thank you for posting your amazing photographs in the message! Man, have you got TALENT! Loved every one! I hope you are successfully doing something really good with such a heaven sent gift!
Thanks again, I so look forward to working with you....and getting to see even more of your work!

Such good points outlned - I especially like the one regarding 'American made' - yes jobs for our citizens, and a potential 'rebirth' for our nation!
Well done you!

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