Wednesday, August 18, 2010

light bulb warning

I don’t like forwarded e-mails.  I admit that I often delete them without even reading them.  So, if you send them to me and don’t get a reply, that’s why.  No offense – I simply don’t have the time to read them all.  However, I received this one from my SIL the other day and I felt this one was not only read-worthy, but also share-worthy (I am not sure of the original author, but this is worth watching out for) - - -

Below is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom.  I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes.  Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch!

I immediately turned off the lights.  But I'm sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there.  Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room.

I took the bulb to the Fire Department today to report the incident. The Fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence.  Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire.  He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.

Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by "Globe" in  China  seem to have the lion's share of problems.  Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting.  Mine was not in any of those.  It was a normal light socket.


I bought these at Wal-Mart.  I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house.  I have not decided yet if we are going back to incandescent bulbs at this point. Just thought you should know.  Thanks WalMart and China .

I’m thinking the “thanks” is sarcastic!  No wonder.  Makes me want to say “thanks, George Bush” or “thanks, government” for passing the law that we will be required to use these bulbs in the not-too-distant future.  What’s up with that?!  I’m so not into politics, but this type of thing is beyond ridiculous.  It’s one step away from communism.  Just sayin’ . . .


Blossom said...

Wow! We have changed almost all of our regular lightbulbs to these 'energy efficient' ones. I don't know exactly where they are made but they are all GE brand (my dh is very loyal- he works for GE Transportation). We have never had a problem but I am very very glad to have read this! We are very diligent about turning off lights when exiting a room but wow, this is scary and something to be on the lookout for.
Thanks for letting us know... and yea, I second your comment at the bottom...

midwest mama said...

Another reason to not use these bulbs.

Did you know that the mercury contained in these bulbs means that technically they need to be "properly disposed of" when they burn out? You can't just throw them away, as they could contaminate ground water if they are put into landfills.

If one breaks in your home, you will need to have it professionally "contained" to remove the health risk for you and your children.

Plus, fluorescent light just makes me look sick;-)

Imagine my irritation when I purchased a light kit for a ceiling fan and found that ALL the light kits came with compact fluorescent bulbs. I was basically forced to bring them into my home if I wanted to have a light for my ceiling fan, and forced to pay more for the product. Now I have to find out how to dispose of them. Can you tell that I'm ticked?

Taking care of the environment is very important to me, but so is caring for my family's health and safety.

Breezy Point Mom said...

Wow! Thanks for the warning. We buy them all at Mal-Wart. It seems that most environmental laws are very short-sighted.

Jodi said...

Yikes! That is scary! Required? That is ridiculous! I thought I lived in America. Thanks for sharing what happened to you Heidi! I gave you an award on my blog:

Felicity said...

The gov't didn't ban anything, they simply set standards for the efficiency of light bulbs.

No, you do not need to have your house professionally cleaned if you break a CF bulb. You will get rid of most of the Hg vapors simply by ventilating the area while cleaning up and using a damp cloth. And it's a tiny amount, the size of a period. Yes, you do need to dispose of them properly but you have to do the same thing for batteries and electronics and people still use them without much complaining. Burning the coal to make the extra electricity needed by incandescent bulbs produces huge amounts of Hg too, so not using CF bulbs doesn't get rid of the Hg pollution.

Anonymous said...

Yes, The government did ban the incandescent bulb. George W. Bush signed the bill and in 2012 you will not be able to buy incandescent bulbs anymore. The CFL might be more efficient but they are more harmful to the environment….the mercury content makes them that way. I read a report about one breaking in a store and they needed to send the gentlemen to the hospital and the doctors had no idea how to treat the guy. CFL’S are very dangerous…not only fires but to our health.

Not to mention it takes them forever to come on.

Brian Strawser

Felicity said...

Sorry Brian, they haven't been banned specifically, they just don't meet the new energy standards and therefore can't be sold (starting in 2012). You'll still be able to use them if you have them and if someone developed an incandescent bulb that was 30% more efficient they could sell it. That's different than being banned specifically. And I don't buy your story about the guy in the store. There isn't that much Hg in them and even if there were, a hospital would know how to treat someone who had been exposed to high amounts of Hg. It reads like an email forward to me.

I'm not saying the bulbs are perfect, but neither are incandescents. A regular bulb will result in 4x as much Hg being given off over it's life due to the extra energy required to produce the light. It's 1.6mg per CF bulb (if disposed of improperly - landfill or broken instead of recycled) and 5.4mg per incandescent.

Sorry for jumping on you about this, but this is what I teach and what I know.

Anonymous said...

You can say all you want the government didn't ban them specifically, but you still are not allowed to buy them in 2012. That means they are banned! By the way who sets the energy standards?...which is totally bogus. It is like we are living in the USSA instead of the USA. Our government is trying to control everything we do including the light bulbs we buy. Follow the money trail to our politicians and then you will find out why we can't buy incandesent light bulbs anymore.
The story about the man taken to the "about 2 years ago" hospital because of the cfl bulb is true. It was on or are the 2 sites I get most of my news, because they tell the truth. The other news networks are less than truthful most of the time.

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