Greater Danger from CFLs

Letter to the Editor: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, Adrian (MI) Daily Telegram

To the Editor,

CFLs pose many serious medical problems for large numbers of people. A prominent physiatrist in Ann Arbor says that he is certain that more people are impacted by the deleterious effects of CFLs than are in wheelchairs. They simply have yet to make the connection.

There are numerous videos, several medical studies, and a list of the ailments caused/exacerbated by CFLs at the website:

The EPA, which has strongly denied any issues with CFLs, has (in June 2010) issued a report on “Cleaning Up a Broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb.” In that document, the EPA states that “If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.”

It also states that when one is broken “have people and pets leave the room, and don’t let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out” and to “shut off the central forced air heating/air conditioning system.”

Based upon these statements, it would be reasonable to assume that, should this occur in a place of public accommodation (such as a restaurant) the establishment would effectively be put out of business until a proper job of cleanup is accomplished.

How many restaurants can afford that disruption?  Why do local health departments allow CFLs in restaurants?  Why would any owner of a place of public accommodation subject themselves to the potential liability exposure caused by such an event?

The Canadians are way ahead of us on this issue. Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, has been on this topic for several years. Her research shows that one CFL contaminates 190,000 litres (more than 50,000 U.S. gallons) of water beyond the level considered safe for drinking.

Swiss research indicates that the UV emissions from CFLs pose a health hazard and that government standards are inadequate to protect us. We wear sunglasses for UV protection when outdoors. Why would we have a light bulb producing harmful levels of UV in our homes?

Our EPA has failed to protect us. Let’s support elected representatives who want to restore our choice and protect our health.

Jerry Straub


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