CFL bulbs

How did no one see this coming? Ever since the EU passed a directive making the use of energy efficient CFL light bulbs mandatory, production of the bulbs has shot up in China, where they can be made at a much lower cost. But, as everyone knows, one of the main ingredients in the bulbs is mercury (as in, “mercury poisoning”), and that means somewhere along the line workers need to be handling the dangerous element in either solid or liquid form.

How did no one see this coming? Ever since the EU passed a directive making the use of energy efficient CFL light bulbs mandatory, production of the bulbs has shot up in China, where they can be made at a much lower cost. But, as everyone knows, one of the main ingredients in the bulbs is mercury (as in, “mercury poisoning“), and that means somewhere along the line workers need to be handling the dangerous element in either solid or liquid form. Most factories won’t allow women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to get anywhere near the mercury, but many other people are exposed to it daily, and have begun falling ill, and in turn, suing the factories.

The worst part of all of this is that global demand for mercury is now on the rise. Years ago the Chinese government closed all the mercury mines because they were worried about environmental and health concerns like dead rivers and poisoned fields. But now these mines are trying to re-open before the end of the year so more mercury can be harvested to make more energy efficient light bulbs.

If everyone knows these bulbs and their contents are toxic, why are governments still pushing for mandates to only use these bulbs? If you want to learn more appalling stats about the battle with CFL bulbs, read our past article, CFL Bulbs and Mercury: The Ugly Truth.

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