Perhaps it would be appropriate for Al Gore’s Web site to display a disclaimer warning you about the dangers of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), but he doesn’t.
According to the Washington Post’s Eco Wise columnist Eviana Hartman, “they contain a small amount of mercury, a potent neurotoxin.”
“If you toss the bulbs in the trash, they're likely to break, potentially exposing workers to mercury or releasing it into groundwater and soil from landfills,” Hartman wrote in the October 7 Washington Post.
There have been instances where these bulbs have broken and posed dangers. A WorldNetDaily story reported a Maine woman’s home was contaminated when one of the bulbs broke and will cost her $2,000 to have it cleaned up. The (Nashville) Tennessean reported of a woman who broke the bulb and without knowing the consequences vacuumed it up and spread the contaminants throughout her home.
“Everybody is throwing all this mercury into the garbage. No one knows this. This should be in bold print on the packaging,” Elizabeth Doermann said to the April 14 Tennessean.
But a government official told the April 2 Waste News, a trade publication that focuses on issues pertaining to waste products and the environment, reported there has been little discussion about the environmental hazards because of the hype surrounding global warming hysteria:
“But warning consumers that they have to dispose of compact fluorescents with care may not be in the best interest of those trying to sell them, she [Ann Moore, recycling coordinator for Burlington County, NJ] said. Along with the additional expense and performance concerns, having to deal with disposing of the bulbs could give consumers another excuse not to buy them, she said.
‘You probably don’t want to do that because you’d hate to wreck the momentum,’ Moore said. ‘And that could kill the movement.’”