Mercury in my light bulbs

Everything is shinier and happier in my world.  I don’t watch the news.

Truly, unless it involves a corporate merger or new ad campaign, I never know what’s going on, and normally I like it that way.  My Mother already knows to call me to forewarn me of a hurricane or tornado warning in the area.  I would have no idea.

There is a down-side.  

Last week, a light bulb burned out in one of my beautiful ornate ceiling fans we purchased from Home Depot about 2.5 years ago.  Randy removed the dome, and the offending light bulb.  I saw why it took 2.5 years for ONE lightbulb to burn out.  They were the super-hip CFL lightbulbs.  Yeah for us!  We were saving the environment and didn’t even know it!  Hey, you can’t avoid the “go green” chatter… it’s on my son’s cartoons for Heaven’s sake!  

So, these were interesting looking lightbulbs, all curly-cued and they aren’t even “screw-ins”, they are “plug-ins”.  Wow.  Randy took the burned out bulb to Home Depot and asked for a replacement.  None to be had.  Lowes, nothing.  OK, OK, OK.  We live in a small town, I’ll look on-line.  NOTHING!  I finally order the closest thing I could find, same base, one wattage difference.  DOES NOT WORK!  So, I go to Home Depot and demand the light bulb be found for me.  It took an hour, AN HOUR!  for the electric guy to even find the existence of this bulb.  It is no longer order-able.  I immediately called my brother to see if I could sue Home Depot.  Obviously I could.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to do this as I called corporate and raised enough stink that the supplier of the supplier was able to locate some bulbs.

Well, the bulbs finally arrived.

P5190027

 

Please, someone, anyone, join me in being shocked to see “CONTAINS MERCURY”.  

I honest to God had no idea.  I had been CARRYING THIS LIGHTBULB IN MY PURSE!

These are supposed to be the thing EVERYONE IS USING?!  

You know, I haul my recycling to the stupid recycling center, I use re-usable totes at the grocery store.  Whatever.  I hadn’t exactly joined the light bulb ranks for aesthetic reasons.  BAD ENVIRONMENTALIST!  I know.  Maybe I DID know, though.

I did some research, and I found this blog that I think touches on all that needs to be said. 

http://www.greenerbuildings.com/blog/2007/04/17/ask-green-architect-mercury-lightbulbs

Now, I did NOT come to the same conclusion as this yahoo.  I have kids.  No mercury in my house.  At all.  No way.  I may be a little more sensitive given my Doctor STILL isn’t unconvinced my son has high-functioning ASD.  Mind you, Jack’s fine now, but that’s a whole ‘nother very long story.  Given that particular journey, however, and a LOT of research, I side with the bio-med enthusiasts in treating and curing Autism.  The name “Mercury” strikes real fear in my heart.

You know, I think that if you are careful… if everyone is careful, if everyone actually recycles, maybe you can argue the good outweighs the bad?  I’m not worried about myself though, I’m worried about that other guy!  We don’t even have curb-side recycling where I live anymore (Fort Walton Beach) because no one was participating!  How many of these non-participators are buying these light bulbs then throwing them in the trash?  I mean really!  Okaloosa County offers, WOW!  “FREE Drop-off for local residents by appointment every Thursday afternoon from 1-3 pm and every third Saturday from 7-11 am; call 651-7394 or 689-5772 for an appointment”…. oozes convenience, no?

It haunts me to think of all the mercury being tossed into the trash.  Another downfall, the people making the darned things.

Conclusion, and good to know information:  If you choose to buy CFL’s, any Home Depot will recycle them for you.  All you have to do is bring them to the service desk.  Home Depot officially redeemed.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mercury in my light bulbs

  1. I love reading your blog.

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