CFL + Mercury

The average CFL lightbulb contains enough mercury (5mg) to render 300,000 gallons of water toxic; undrinkable for us and unsafe for fish.  Some manufactures have reduced the mercury amounts to around 2mg.

The message: It is great to purchase CFL lightbulbs for your hosue, but with that comes the responsibility to recycle these.  Visit Earth 911 for location in our area.


2 responses to “CFL + Mercury

  1. The reality of the situation is that hundreds of thousands if not millions of CFL lightbulbs will end out in the landfills. A very small percentage will actually get recycled. That is a LOT of murcury being released into our environment. So, it begs the question, are they helping at all or just creating a new, more destructive problem?

    • Scott, Good point.
      According to the EPA, the average mercury released from energy sources necessary to power a CFL light bulb are 1.2mg and then landfilling that same bulb will add another .6mg (average of 14% of mercury content is released if bulb is broken at end of life) for a total of 1.8mg overall.

      An incandescent bulb over that same time frame will require more energy and that energy will generate 5.8 mg of mercury. Thus saving 4mg of mercury over same usage.

      I am a firm believer in LED lights and have about 30% of my lighting done with them. Now that places like Home Depot are carrying LED lights, i imagine the prices will start to come down significantly over the next two years. But if you can afford the first cost to take advantage of their long term savings then LED’s are a no brainer. But some are still just too expensive. I will talk more about this in a future blog post about lighting for the Turquoise home… Thanks for the feedback.

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