Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh Joy

It's nice when the lunacy of the EU and it's various environmental policies fully supported by our home grown enviroloons comes crashing upon the rocks of reality. I have a cupboard full of environmentally friendly green fluorescent miniature lightbulbs, they might be energy efficient, but if I had to buy one instead of getting them free via my power utilities company they would cost more than a standard old fashioned bulb and are despite claims not as bright, at least at first when switched on.
Still it's novel to discover today that not only do they contain mercury (something I did know) but also they are a proper little chemical warfare timebomb even when just switched on and not should they explode near someone.

HEALTH fears were raised last night over the use of energy saving lightbulbs after a report claimed they contain cancer causing chemicals.

Scientists warn that prolonged contact with the European Union-imposed bulbs could put people at risk after discovering that they “pulse out” poisonous materials when switched on.

The bulbs are already widely used in Britain after the EU ordered all traditional incandescent lightbulbs to be phased out by the end of this year.

While it was known that harmful amounts of mercury are released if one of the new “green” bulbs breaks, experts have now discovered they also emit several carcinogenic chemicals.

These include phenol – a poison used by the Nazis to kill concentration camp victims – and the toxins naphthalene and styrene, which are released as a form of steam when the bulb is switched on.
The German scientists behind the report advise that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, especially near a person’s head.
Researcher Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the independent Berlin Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”
He said the bulbs could be especially harmful if left on near a child’s head all night or used to read by for long periods near an adult.
Andreas Kirchner of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps. I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”

Isn't it just wonderful how the enviroloons have made us trade in something safe if less energy efficient (though they do help heat a room) for a chemical timebomb, because sooner or later these bulbs like anything else heating up and cooling down will break, sometimes catastrophically. Even worse, whilst they are on they pulse out carcinogens. These righteous have it seems not thought out the full effect of their campaigns to reduce our energy emissions and have instead put ourselves and our kids at risk in the name of their green god. There is of course a bonus for some though...
Experts in Britain insisted the risks were relatively small and urged people not to panic but admitted more research was needed
Someone has clearly seen another way to pick our pockets via a government grant.

5 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

And that's in addition to the migraines which many people suffer as a result of their use. I've put the old lamps back in our lounge as Mrs EP,who would normally have suffered an evening migraine about once a month started to have them about twice a week. Her GP admitted that he'd had more patients lately who had mentioned migraines but that she was the first who had identified a possible cause.

Kevin said...

They also take more energy to produce (the semiconductors in them alone cost more in terms of energy than the bits of twisted tungsten wire in incandescents) than the energy savings they are supposed to be making over the incandescent bulbs they replaced. And, this is a kicker, they consume far more electricity per lumen. Why? Because they have a lousy power factor (unlike standard bulbs which have a perfect power factor)so they are more difficult to supply and they make your electricity meter whizz round a helluva lot quicker. Power generators hate 'em.

They were brought in to benefit two companies: Phillips and Siemens (who make the chips they all use) and had nothing whatsoever to do with energy saving.

You just gotta love the EU, putting big business over the consumer every time.

Kevin said...

Oh and I forgot to mention they flash 100 times a second (unlike incandescents where thermal inertia stops the flashing effect). They also emit pure ultra violet (nasty for the eyes) which is tempered (changed) by using fluorescing powders (hence the name), which emit visible light. Until they get old that is.......

Wonder where the migraines were coming from?

English Pensioner said...

And, of course you can't dim them, something we normally do whilst watching TV.

Dan said...

If you look around on the shelves of DIY stores, you will now start to find tungsten halogen bulbs. These are almost exactly the same as normal tungsten bulbs, save that inside the large glass envelope is a smaller quartz glass enclosure, with a halogen lamp in that.

They run at a higher temperature than the old tungsten lamps, so a lesser wattage of power is needed to produce the same output of visible light (a lesser fraction is emitted as infrared; not wasted, for it just heats the room). The ones I have are marked as "Energy Saving"; the small amount less power used, 42W instead of 60W, is apparently enough to satisfy the great god of Global Warming.

Get shut of the fluorescents and buy halogens; they're better by far (at least until decent LED lamps are produced).