Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Dispose of squiggly bulbs properly
…Compact fluorescent light bulbs—that’s it…Those things that look like piggy tails.
…Supposed to be the diety’s gift to cheaper electric bills. If every home in America replaced just one regular bulb with one of these, it would be enough to light 3 million homes and prevent gas emissions equal to 800,000 cars.
…But of course, there is a catch.
…They contain a small amount of the neurotoxin mercury, enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, the EPA says (weird analogy, what?).
…That’s the stuff that ruins fetus brains and affects babies and toddlers (and is probably not aces for grownups, either).
…Handle these carefully—they are made of glass. Screw holding on the bottom.
…If you break one of these bulbs, the EPA says to quick open the windows.
….Then scoop up the mercury using paper or cardboard. The glass and mercury powder then should be put in a glass jar of plastic bag.
…Go to www.epa.gov.mercury.spills.index.htm for instructions for cleanup on all kinds of surfaces.
…Some states say not to put these in the trash, even unbroken. Others say double plastic bags. Recycling centers just for these are springing up.
…So what do you think? Did someone do the lesser evil on this one?