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20 years

Researchers say energy-efficient
CFL bulbs may cause health
problems from radiation and
dangerous mercury vapors.

Instead of signing Public Law 109-58, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, President George W. Bush should have fired his Secretary of Energy, Sam Bodman along with his senior advisers for giving him bad advise. Bush-43 then compounded his sin in 2007 by allowing the new leftwing majority in the House and Senate to amend Public Law 109-58 with the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficient Act of 2007 which outlawed Tom Edison's light bulb in order to replace the safest, least expensive form of luminance on Earth with expensive luminance technology by banning both the manufacture or importing of incandescent lights. Today, incandescent lights. No one seemed to notice that as soon as the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficient Act of 2007 was enacted, 200W, 250W and 300W light bulbs vanished towards the end of 2010. Poof! Gone. All 150W and 100W incandescent light bulbs disappeared at the end of 2011. One hundred and 150W incandescent light bulbs were destined to go the way of the Dodo bird on Dec. 31, 2011.

Starting with my first article on CFLs on July 31, 2007, I was determined that Tom Edison's light bulb would not go silently in the night. I worked for several months in 2010 and 2011 with the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise [CDFE] who had the ability to launch a massive email campaign to hammer Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficient Act of 2007 and save Tom Edison's light bulb. Ron Arnold, the Executive Director of CDFE took on the lighting industry which stood to profit exponentially by dumping the inexpensive incandescent light in favor of much, much more expensive LED and halogen lights and, of course, the problematic, potentially harmful compact fluorescent lights [CFLs] that scientists discovered emit trace amounts of radiation through UV rays that can damage skin cells and cause ultimately cancer. CFLs also have the potential to cause mercury poisoning since CFLs, like fluorescent tubes, contain mercury vapors. In the event you break a CFL, the package provides a hotline number to call for toxic cleanup. That call will trigger a hazmat team to your home. The cleanup. will cost anywhere from $500 to $600 up to $2,000. State Environmental Agencies take broken CFLs quite seriously. Oh, by the way, when you break an incandescent light bulb in your home, who does the light bulb package advise you to call? Oh,m wait—there are no such warning labels on incandescent light bulb packages because incandescent light bulbs are not only the cheapest form of household illumination in the world, they are also the safest.

If that's true, why did they get rid of them? You mean, other than because of the profit motive for companies like General Electric, Phillips and Sylvania who own most of the patent rights on the 21st century's expensive "lighting?" Lighting, by the way, that doesn't hold a candle to the incandescent light bulb? Watermelon environmentalists (ecowacko green on the outside, communist red on the inside) like Al Gore, Jr. who became a billionaire touting the myth of man-made global warming, profit from them—not because they are any good, because they aren't.

(A study on the dangers of compact fluorescent bulbs was recently conducted by the State University of New York at Stony Brook was published in Photochemistry & Photobiology in August, 2012. The research data shows the dangers of CFLs emitting dangerous UV-rays which, of course, are not emitted from Tom Edison's light bulb. Halogen light bulbs get too hot, and have the potential to cause household fires. And light-emitting diode [LED] bulbs pose health risks of their own. LEDs need phosphors to make white light, but inside each bulb is a blue light source which is converted to white light by the phosphor. (The blue light poses no damage to human skin.) However, the blue light tricks the body into thinking it is daytime even when it's night. The problem with LED bulbs is that they throw off your sleep cycle since humans need bright days and dark nights for their bodies to rest properly. The worst thing that happens when you change Tom Edison's light bulb for a LED lighting system in your home is that you don't sleep well and spend a lot of time being cranky around the house.

Replacing traditional Tom Edison light bulbs with what the lighting industry says are more cost effective alternatives to the ubiquitous incandescent light bulb—compact fluorescent lamps, LED lamps, and halogen light bulbs is not good. Which, of course, is why the Democratically-controlled House and Senate outlawed Tom's light bulb in 2007.

The battle to erase the incandescent light bulb continues today as the princes of industry and the barons of business in the industrialized world greedily continue to phase out the incandescent light bulb, with 75 watt incandescent light bulbs designated to enter the waste bin of history on Dec. 31, 2012.

The 60 and 40 watt light bulbs will be phased out at the end of 2013. Why? Because the product Thomas Edison invented was too good—and too cheap. None of the 21st century luminance devises have been able to dent the lighting market and compete, toe-to-toe with the incandescent light bulb. Using the lie that the incandescent light bulb causes global warming as a ploy, the useful idiots in the United Nations promoted the UN Sustainable Energy-For-All Initiative to mobilize the global ban on the incandescent light bulb which, it contends, will have all sectors of the global society powered with electricity by 2030.

The reality is, the transition from cheap but effective electric lighting to expensive new forms of lighting that costs from 10 to 20 times or more than incandescent light bulbs has nothing to do with providing inexpensive but plentiful electric light and everything to do with increasing the bottom lines of companies like GE, Osram-Sylvania and Philips 10 to 20-fold over the next two decades—at the expense of every man, woman and child in the world.

As long as Edison's incandescent light bulb remained on the world's store shelves, the princes of industry and the barons of business couldn't sell their more expensive, inferior compact fluorescent lamps—particularly since new research funded by the National Science Foundation has brought forth new warnings from scientists about the potentially harmful effects that CFL bulbs can have on your skin.

The study, reported in The Daily Caller on July 23, came from the afore mentioned article in Photochemistry and Photobiology. According to project lead researcher, Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Stony Brook University in New York, with or without TiO2 sunblock residue, incandescent light bulbs of the same luminance intensity had zero effects on healthy skin. "Our study," Rafailovich reported, "revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation. Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low does of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure."

The investigation found that cracks in the phosphor coatings in the CFL bulbs yielded significant levels of UVC and UVA in all of the bulbs—purchased in different locations across two countries—which they examined. The Stony Brook study concluded that skin damage from exposure to CFLs was consistent with harm caused by ultraviolet radiation.

Here is the simple reality of Compact Fluorescent Lamps. They were created by the princes of industry looking for new profit sources that could be realized only if the cheap, much more effective, incandescent light bulbs were banned. The outlawing of the incandescent lighter bulb and the forced conversion of mankind to harmful and less effective fluorescent light is providing a trillion dollar windfall to General Electric, Osram-Sylvania and Philips during it's first sans-incandescent light bulb year (2014). IN 2010, light bulbs that were 150 to 200 watts or larger quietly vanished from store shelves. In 2011 100 watt light bulbs disappeared from store shelves at the end of the third quarter—about the time most consumers decided to start stocking up on them because most of them had already tried the hazy yellow-luminence CFLs and didn't like them. This is now October. On December 31, 2012 75W light bulbs will be illegal. But, based on the disappearance of 100W light bulbs vanishing in October of last year, the odds are pretty good that when you decide to stock up on 75W bulbs at the end of this month, they will already be missing from store shelves.

Prior to the 100 watt ban, you could purchase four GE or Sylvania 100 watt light bulbs at your neighborhood supermarket, Walmart, Target, Lowes or Home Depot for anywhere from $1.99 to $3.49—with individual 100 watt light bulbs in the packs selling for from 50¢ to 88¢. Individual CFLs retailed from $3 to $6 each when they began appearing on store shelves last fall. A four-pack of them would cost the consumer from $12 to $24. Quite a difference. The argument that the CFL will outlive ten light bulbs doesn't mean much to consumers today struggling to survive in Obamaville with less pocket money and skyrocketing prices. Consumers today are now replacing burned-out 100 watt incandescent light bulbs with 75 watt bulbs. For them, there is less light in a world that the UN promised would be "globally illuminated" with sustainable energy by the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb. The standing joke at the UN Convention on Sustainable Energy in Rio de Janerio's: "How many UN negotiators does it take to change a light bulb?" That fact that the question could be asked, even in jest, is remarkable since, for the transition to happen the environmentalists had to be on board. That is incredible on the face of it since fluorescent lighting gives off minute particles of X-ray and other electromagnetic pollutants including one very deadly one—mercury.

Mercury poses health risks that have never been adequately researched or quantified. Researchers the world over have determined long go that fluorescent lamps pose a danger. In addition to headaches and eye strain, fluorescent lighting has been linked to anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, attention deficit disorder and cancer. As noted by the Stony Brook tests, none of the disorders mentioned here are inherent with incandescent lighting. The University of Sydney's (Australia) Melanoma Clinic determined after an exhaustive study that those who work indoors under fluorescent lighting are twice as likely to get skin cancer as those who frequently sunbathe on the beach. Quoting the statistics from the Sydney study, the University of Connecticut Health Center wrote in the December, 2005 issue of the National Institute of Health News that "...if the link between light exposure and cancer can be confirmed it could have an immediate impact on the production and use of artificial lighting in this country."

I think that evidence already exists. On April 12, 2007 the Ellsworth American in Maine reported that an Ellsworth housewife, Brandy Bridges, broke a CFL on the carpeted floor in her daughter Shayley's bedroom. Aware—from the warning on the package—that CFLs contain mercury and are therefore a health hazard if broken, called her local Home Depot store (where she purchased the CFL lamp that shattered on her floor) to advise her how to clean up the mess. Home Depot told her to call the Poison Control Hotline. She was advised to get out of that room and shut the door, and then call the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The MDEP sent a toxicologist, Andrew Smith to her home. He sealed the daughter's bedroom with plastic sheeting and prepared the cleanup—which he told Bridges would cost them about $2,000.

The mercury toxicity levels in the downstairs living area were safely under 300 ng/m3. But the mercury in the Shayley's bedroom spiked to 1,939 ng/m3. Bridges, a single mom with an overcrowded house and very limited financial means, filed a claim with her homeowner's policy. The claim was denied because mercury toxicity is a pollutant not specifically covered in homeowners' policies.

Brandy Bridges ended up paying $2,000 to clean up a toxic mess she would not have had if she had used a 50¢ incandescent light bulk instead of believing the long-life rhetoric that a $5 CFL would outlast a hundred light bulbs. The reality is that the promise of safer and more effective lighting by the princes of industry and the barons of business is merely a marketing bait & switch designed not to keep promised dollars in your pocket, but to put more dollars in their pockets.

If you didn't fill your basement from floor to ceiling with 100W incandescent light bulbs before they vanished from store shelves in October (not December) last year, you'd better stock up now or adjust your eyeballs for the hazy, near-luminance of the costly CFL, the sleep-depriving LED or the fire threat Halogen bulbs (which the watermelons insist don't throw the heat of one 100W incandescent light bulb).





Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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