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.