Govt Bans 75-Watt Bulbs, Replaces with Mercury-Leaking ‘Efficient’ Bulbs

Lisa Garber
Jan 4, 2013

The days of the 75-watt incandescent light bulbs seem to be numbered. Stores may sell their existing stock, but January 2nd’s new federal law is preparing to phase out production and importation. Forty- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs will face the same slow death next year.

The government is instead favoring fluorescent bulbs including CFLs, or compact fluorescent light, for the bulbs’ ability to use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent. The problem? Mercury exposure. While CFL’s mercury content has drawn fire—which is usually snuffed out with instruction on proper disposal techniques, what often goes unmentioned is growing unrest related to research showing that CFLs may emit poisonous materials when switched on. These materials include phenol, naphthalene, and styrene, which are, respectively, harmful to the eyes, skin, respiratory tract, and kidneys; destructive to red blood cells; and a suspected toxin to the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, respiratory system, and more.

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