WARNING: Upton's Light Bulb Ban Poses Health Risks - HUMAN EVENTS
This is another case where the government has reacted to an issue without thinking through the consequences of the actions. I am sure there was a good reason for deciding to ban the incandescent light bulb in favor of the flourescent, but the consequences of that action are just now becoming public knowledge. If people had known before this ban was instated that the mercury vapors inside the bulb were considered hazardous waste there would have been some complaint and perhaps enough pressure to prevent this from taking place.
How many people will actually follow the instructions on cleaning up the area after breaking a light bulb. Probably very few if any, and then what? What are the long term consequences to our children, our pets, and even us? We still have some people in this country that don't bother to read the warning labels on anything. Who is going to be responsible for telling every American that when you break a light bulb, you have to evacuate your children and pets? Who is going to be responsible for telling every American that you have to open your windows, and leave them off for a couple of hours? Who is going to tell them that you have to turn off your heat or your air conditioning for several hours?
The OSHA limits for Mercury Vapor is 0.1 milligram per cubic meter. Mercury Vapor can enter the body through inhalation, the skin and the eyes. Effects on Humans include but not limited to CNS(central nervous system), lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes. On animals damage can occur in the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, and lungs. This is information on the OSHA website.
Did we get a chance to choose whether we wanted flourescent lightbulbs or incandescent? No, we did not. But unless we can change the laws, we will have to live with it. I fear for the future of our children, we know the damage that lead has caused. It may be years before we know the damage that mercury vapors in our homes can cause to our children and our pets.