This piece of news announced in Swedish press and TV makes me really worried about our future, as it supercedes even my worst fears:
Every year 200 000 CFLs are wrongly thrown into glass recycling bins, according to an analysis by Swedish Glassrecycling (SGÅ). This means a health risk for those who work with recycling and a risk that the environmental toxin is spreads in the natural environment, according to Svenska Dagbladet.
The motive for replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs was to save electricity and thereby save the environment, but environmental expert Minna Gillberg condemns the drive for CFLs as “absurd”.
This means a risk not just to recycling workers but actually to everyone. Especially when the recycling bins are indoors, since mercury vaporises at room temperature and contaminates the surrounding area pretty much permanently.
And note: This is happening in SWEDEN – where we have extremely well organised recycling practices and pride ourselves on being informed, consciensious and spearheading environmental awareness! If even we can’t do it, then again I shudder to imagine what happens to CFLs in poorer countries where many may not even be literate, much less care what happens to their burned-out lamps, or know what to do if they did.
The CFL is a toxic product that should never have been allowed on the market!
Earlier posts about the mercury in CFLs: