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"Battle of the Bulb" (Peltier finds CFL mercury emissions equal to that of power plants)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 7, 2012

[Ed. note: Robert Peltier, editor of POWER magazine, has insightful commentary in his ‘Speaking of Power’ op-ed series. MasterResource reprints his op-ed below with permission.]

“What happens to the millions of used CFLs that are tossed out in the trash each year? Chances are a large percentage are broken by users at home or are broken when compressed in the trash truck or compacted in a landfill. Regardless, the mercury contained in the bulbs is released to the environment.”

“My research found, much to my surprise, that both emissions—from [power plant] stack gas or broken compact fluorescent lighbulbs (CFL)—produce about the same magnitude of mercury release.”

– Robert Peltier, “Battle of the Bulb,” POWER, February 2012, p. 6.

President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 with the words: “New technologies will help usher in a better quality of life for our citizens.”