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What's a little mercury when you're saving the environment

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Feb 27, 2008

Yesterday's Globe carried a rather sinister note on how to deal with one of those twisty compact fluorescent bulbs in case it breaks.

Apparently, this isn't one of those events you should just snooze through, especially if you are an infant, child, pregnant woman, or pet. If you don't happen to have a hazmat suit handy, you'll just have to study the procedure to get it right, and Lord knows the back of the box never mentioned leaving the area for 15 minutes before you even get started with cleanup.

A friend comments:

They forgot to add, "discard any children, infants, pregnant women, or pets who were contaminated during this process."

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 29, 2008 9:54 AM ET USA

    Environmentalists will counter with the argument that the lower power consumption of CFLs compared to incandescents reduces mercury emissions from power plants. Never mind that, at best, any improvement can be measured in femtograms. (Demonstrating once again that liberals and numbers are often strangers)

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2008 8:05 PM ET USA

    All I can say is: I am Pro-Choice........ on light bulbs. http://shop.wnd.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=2280

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2008 7:24 PM ET USA

    Sir William, it's definitely on the boxes in Ireland & UK - a picture of a wheelie bin with a line through it. The symbol appears on hazardous waste items, electronics etc.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2008 2:31 PM ET USA

    Mercury vapor is poison. Even after you clear the room for 15 minutes (with ventilation, so open the windows in the middle of winter) and clean up the mess as best you can, the airborne mercury level in that room is going to be 100 times the safe level for quite some time. Brilliant! Oh, and no, I'm not kidding. Stock up all the incandescents you can, while you still can. Once they're banned, the black market price is going to be outrageous.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2008 12:20 PM ET USA

    PETA would never allow the disposal of contaminated pets, but they'd help haul the children and women to the dump.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2008 10:43 AM ET USA

    And isn't it nice of Congress to be so concerned about health and safety that they've passed a law to 'phase out' those evil and pesky incandescents? (And how much mercury, do you think, will leech out into the enviornment from the tossed bulbs already in the dumps? What did you say? We shouldn't be throwing them in the trash? Hmmm.....that isn't on the back of the box either...)

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