Light bulb tests shame greenies

Consumer groups want end to EU bulb ban

compact fluorescent light bulb

Compact fluorescent light bulb. Big in the environment for a year or two, but now it appears to be a big mistake in the environment. Mercury vapour, of all things, perhaps the most demonised of environmental hazards; after asbestos. Forcing a dangerous product on consumers before adequate testing – what were you thinking, Greenpeace? You should hang your organisational head in shame.

From Germany comes confirmation of the danger of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Official tests show the new compact fluorescent lamps to be dangerous if broken.

The energy saving bulbs show mercury levels 20 times higher than regulations allow in the air surrounding them for up to five hours after they are broken, according to tests released on Thursday by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

“If the industry can’t manage to offer safe bulbs, then the incandescent bulbs must remain on the market until autumn of 2011,” said Gerd Billen, the leader of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZVB).

His group encouraged the federal government to push for a suspension of the ban in Brussels until there was a safe and practical alternative.

“It can’t be that the state bans a safe product and replaces it with a dangerous one,” Billen said. read more…

They’re expensive, slow to deliver the promised illumination, can make a buzzing noise and frequently fail well before the claimed seven to 20-year lifetime. Which ruins their claims of saving anything.

No effect on climate

Concerns have been expressed before that they’re unsafe, but now we have confirmation from nothing less than a German environmental organisation.

Why were we persuaded to use them? Because they save energy. So what, you ask? Less energy use means less global warming – did you know that?

It will have no effect on the climate, but that really is the only reason to put these expensive, dangerous light bulbs into our homes.

I hope our politicians get some sense into their heads and don’t ban the incandescent versions until we have adequate LED replacements or make the fluorescent ones truly, honestly safe.

Is that too much to ask?

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