Natasha Wilson

361 Things – CFL’s I Still Love You
February 3, 2009, 12:35
Filed under: 365 Things

cflIf you’ve been anywhere near a newspaper, television or the internet in the last 30 days, you’ve probably heard that CFL’s  (compact flourescent light bulbs) are under the miscrope as Health Canada tests the bulbs for potentially harmful ultraviolet rays.  The conculsions of their study aren’t likely to be released until fall 2009, and Health Canada has issued the following statement in the interim: “Even though the bulk of scientific studies to date have not identified any health-related issues, Health Canada has decided to test the bulbs to acquire reliable technical data.”

The UK’s public health agency has issued the following related statement: “The agency recommends the bulbs not be used in areas where people spend more than an hour a day within 30 cm of the bare light bulb.”

Now I take issues of health and safety with extreme consideration and mindfulness.  I’m pleased that consumer products undergo rigirous testing for the benefit of our safety.  But, I’m also not an alarmist. I spent the entire day yesterday counting the number of times my head had been within 30 centimetres of a bare light bulb… it didn’t happen.

CFL’s are environmentally friendly and long-lasting.  Here’s 4 reasons to love them:

  • They’re 75% more energy efficient and they last 10 times longer
  • Our federal government has mandated that all traditional (incandescent) bulbs be replaced with CFL’s by 2012
  • Replacing a single bulb with a CFL will keep half a ton of CO2 out of our atmosphere
  • If everyone in North America used efficient lighting we could retire 100+ average sized power plants

Short of dimmers, all of the bulbs in my house have been replaced with compact flourescent light bulbs, and I’m certainly not going to reverse my decision to bring these bulbs into my home.  This issue has drawn a tremendous amount of media attention, which has generated fear and concern, and has left us all wondering what’s best for the planet.  Until (and unless) there’s reason to believe otherwise, CFL’s are still one of the most important household carbon reduction strategies.  Still feeling nervous?  Then I challenge you to start slowly.  Replace your porch light…  and remember, it only takes one to make a difference.


2 Comments so far
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I agree – a lot of this stuff is so alarmist, and some of the supposed “science” behind it has been debunked. Glad you still love them!

Comment by David

[…] migraines and skin rashes got a wide airing in late January. I’m still recommending them, for all the reasons I always did, plus one more: I’m highly skeptical of these claims. The idea that compact fluorescents […]

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