Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mercury poisoning

The Oregonian had the story: "Senator Mike Enzi and other Republicans push to repeal U.S. requirements for energy-efficient light bulbs." It is offered as "Environmental News." But the only environmental concern was carbon dioxide.

The focus of the Republicans' push is to curtail "nanny" legislation, i.e., government reaching too far into citizens's daily life. We ought to think more than once about any government regulation. And, while I am in agreement with the anti-nanny legislation concept - in this case it is more important to be concerned about legislation or regulations that adds to the specter of mercury poisoning.

Saving the environment is everybody's concern, but it ought to be clear that the environment is a complex interrelationship of factors. The use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) as a means to combat global warming needs more thought. The "green" benefits in the use of CFLs doesn't seem to be justified by the potential increase in toxic poisoning. See Wikipedia and Science Daily.

Mercury accumulates in the environment and the body; thus, there is no baseline or normal amount of exposure. And, the proper "clean-up" after an ordinary breakage of CFL light bulb approaches that requiring a hazardous clean-up specialist.

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