Congress On Light Bulbs

6 Responses to “Congress On Light Bulbs”

  1. 1 B. J. Kennedy June 11, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    So, how many Congressmen does it take to change a light bulb?

  2. 2 Cajun June 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    You can’t expect common sense to come out of congress or anything else from our Babylon on the Potomac. The new law seems to be on par with what congress has been doing for a long time.


  3. 3 Aunt B June 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    From what I’ve been given to understand, CFLs contain mercury vapor, hence the need to ventilate a space where a bulb is broken. As if that would be enough. Frankly, all in the vicinity, including pets, would need to flee, likely to an ER. The poor soul tasked with cleanup would need to don a haz-mat suit.

    From the OSHA site (

    Exposure to mercury vapor can occur through inhalation, and eye or skin contact.

    * Summary of toxicology

    1. Effects on Animals: Mercury vapor can damage the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, lungs and colon in experimental animals. It is also mutagenic and can affect the immune system. Rabbits exposed for a single 4 hour period to mercury vapor at a concentration of 28.8 mg/m(3) developed severe damage to the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, lungs, and colon [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Rabbits exposed to 0.86 mg/m(3) for 6 weeks had significant brain and kidney damage, which resolved on cessation of exposure. Exposure to 6 mg/m(3) mercury vapor caused severe damage to the kidney, heart, lung, and brain of rabbits; however, dogs exposed to 0.1 mg/m(3) for 83 weeks had no microscopic indication of tissue damage [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Mercury may injure the kidneys through an autoimmune mechanism [ACGIH 1991]. Mercury was mutagenic in eukaryotic cells [ACGIH 1991].
    2. Effects on Humans: Mercury vapor can cause effects in the central and peripheral nervous systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes in humans. It is also mutagenic and affects the immune system [Hathaway et al. 1991; Clayton and Clayton 1981; Rom 1992]. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapor causes severe respiratory damage, while chronic exposure to lower levels is primarily associated with central nervous system damage [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Chronic exposure to mercury is also associated with behavioral changes and alterations in peripheral nervous system [ACGIH 1991]. Pulmonary effects of mercury vapor inhalation include diffuse interstitial pneumonitis with profuse fibrinous exudation [Gosselin 1984]. Glomerular dysfunction and proteinuria have been observed mercury exposed workers [ACGIH 1991]. Chronic mercury exposure can cause discoloration of the cornea and lens, eyelid tremor and, rarely, disturbances of vision and extraocular muscles [Grant 1986]. Delayed hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in individuals exposed to mercury vapor [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. Mercury vapor is reported to be mutagenic in humans, causing aneuploidy in lymphocytes of exposed workers [Hathaway et al. 1991].
    * Signs and symptoms of exposure
    1. Acute exposure: Acute inhalation of mercury vapor may result in toxicity similar to metal fume fever including chills, nausea, general malaise, tightness in the chest, chest pains, dyspnea, cough, stomatitis, gingivitis, salivation, and diarrhea [ACGIH 1991; Hathaway et al. 1991].
    2. Chronic exposure: Chronic exposure to mercury may result in weakness, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, and disturbance of gastrointestinal function. A tremor may develop beginning with the fingers, eyelids, and lips which may progress to generalized trembling of the entire body and violent chronic spasms of the extremities. Parallel with development of the tremors, behavioral and personality changes may develop including increased excitability, memory loss, insomnia, and depression. The skin may exhibit abnormal blushing, dermographia, excessive sweating and irregular macular rashes. Severe salivation and gingivitis is also characteristic of chronic toxicity [Hathaway et al. 1991; Gosselin 1984]. Another manifestation of chronic mercury exposure is characterized by apathy, anorexia, flush, fever, a nephrotic syndrome with albuminuria and generalized edema, diaphoresis, photophobia, insomnia and a pruritic and sometimes painful scaling or peeling of the skin of the hands and feet with bullous lesions [Gosselin 1984].

  4. 4 Tregonsee July 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I expect to have a 100-200 bulbs stored in my barn if this CFL law is not repealed before it takes effect. At my usual rate of consumption, that should last until they get CFLs right.

    Anybody remember years ago when people were going to Mexico and Canada to get toilets which flushed properly after another similar bill? Same idea.


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