Sunday, May 10, 2009

Green Lightbulbs Poison Workers

By Blad Tolstoy

Anyone already fed up with the new green lightbulbs? I know I am. Their light is poor, it pulsates unpleasantly giving me a headache, and they contain small doses of mercury. Note, I did say "small doses" as it is not the substance per se that makes the poison but the dose. That is the first law of toxicology and as true now as it was in Paracelsus' time.

Unlike most of the anti-smoker cannon fodder, which consists of well-meaning but gullible and badly informed do-gooders, I am not, therefore, out to condemn something simply because it contains a particular substance. However, having said that, mercury has a toxic effect at low doses and those who manufacture these bulbs, along with the government, have been at pains to assure us that there is no danger to be had from them.

In response to that, I am nevertheless concerned that when these bulbs are disposed of in waste sites, then the amount or sum of mercury in those locations will increase drastically and I am trying to imagine how toxic they will become. This should provide some food for thought. Moreover, if we take a look at this link, provided by Steve Milloy, we discover that large numbers of workers in China who make these bulbs have experienced mercury poisoning (very unpleasant).

Are these light bulbs a sensible introduction, or are they justy another silly invention created to satisfy the irresponsibly politically correct?