Ethan A. Huff
Jan 21, 2011
In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act which contains a subsection that bans the sale of incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012. But the new Congress recently unveiled the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act, or H.R. 91, which would repeal this subsection and restore Americans’ freedom of choice to buy the light bulbs of their choice.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The idea to ban incandescent bulbs emerged from the false notion that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are better forthe environmentbecause they use lessenergy. But the truth of the matter is thatCFLsare loaded with toxicmercury, which upon breakage or disposal pollutes theenvironmentvia seepage into groundwater, rivers and lakes, and threatens humanhealth.
“CFLs are sotoxicbecause of the mercury in the glass tubing that the cleanup procedure spelled out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is downright scary,” wrote Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of the Eagle Forum, in an editorial at WND. “The EPA warns that if we break a CFL, we must take the pieces to a recycling center and not launder ‘clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in theclothingmay contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage’.”
Such a scenario hardly sounds “green”. And at the same time,incandescent bulbscontain no toxic chemicals at all. But none of this stopped the Bush Administration from signing thebaninto effect that year.
“People don’t wantCongressdictating what light fixtures they can use,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), one of the co-authors of the new bill. “Traditional incandescent bulbs are cheap and reliable. Alternatives, including the most common replacement Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFLs, are more expensive and health hazards — so why force them on the American people?”
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