Let there be flourescent light

Are we gradually being forced to buy only florescent lighting?

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Update, 2018: I just did a search on the Walmart website and was pleased to still find incandescent light bulbs available. I am grateful that this is the case. There have been several brands and levels of incandescent light bulbs that have been phased out but we still have an alternative to the odious fluorescent bulb.

Is Walmart trying to do away with the regular light bulb altogether?

I spend no small amount of time researching the least toxic ways to do anything I have to do in my home. If I had the money, I’d build a totally green home but as it is, I can only just learn what I can about non-toxic living and try to integrate as much as I can into my living space.

I was in Ace Hardware the other day, looking for some full spectrum lightbulbs. My chiropractor reminded me of how much healthier full spectrum light was, especially in the winter months when most of us don’t get enough natural sunlight so I was looking for full spectrum bulbs to replace my regular bulbs.

While I was there I heard what I truly hoped was a nasty rumor. The fella in the electrical and lighting department mentioned that by a certain date in the future (I was so stunned by the end of his sentence that I didn’t even remember the date he said later) there would be no more regular incandescent light bulbs….that only compact fluorescent bulbs would be manufactured or available.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. We would have no other option? I still don’t know if what he said is accurate but I’ve read enough online today to wonder….

Walmart has said let there be florescent light:
In the New York Times, I read how Walmart has set a goal to selling 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs a year how aggressively this company is promoting the idea of everyone using these unhealthy bulbs.

On the surface, it sounds so “green”. 75 percent less energy usage, 10 years longer life and a notable decrease in greenhouse gasses if their goal is reached.

But what about the safety issues?

Does Walmart think the users of those 100 million compact flourescent bulbs, who are used to throwing their incandescent light bulbs in the trash, are suddenly going to automatically take the extra precautions that MUST be taken when disposing of flourescent lighting, to prevent the mercury in all those 100 million bulbs from leaching into the atmosphere when the bulbs are disposed of? And will there be enough conveniently located hazardous waste collection points for every family using the bulbs, and will it be impressed on each of these families how vital it is to take these old bulbs to hazardous waste collection points for disposal?

Are they going to train people about the dangers of florescent light bulbs breaking and shattering, causing wounds that might not heal well because of the phosphor that will enter the wound with the pieces of the exploding light bulb, from the phosphor-coated glass?

And what’s going to happen to our cancer rates when every home is bathed in shorter-wave ultraviolet light emitted from all these compact florescent light bulbs? Will we see an epidemic of cancer the likes of which we’ve never seen before? If ultraviolet sheeting isn’t applied to lamps and light fixtures, it won’t be good news.

I say no to compact flourescents. I say yes to any healthy alternative lighting that can help with energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gasses.

After all, no matter how much money we save and how we reduce greenhouse gasses, if none of us are healthy enough to care, what difference will it make?

I did notice that one company, General Electric, did come out with a flourescent that addresses at least a couple of the concerns. Their Saf-T-Gard bulbs are advertised as low-UV and shatter-resistant. Mercury not addressed.

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