Compact Fluorescent Lamps Burn Out Faster Than Expected, Limiting Energy Savings in California's Efficiency Program

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704259704576033890595565026.html
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Can't help but wonder how many Left Coasters are hoarding incandescent light bulbs. And why is the lamestream media ignoring the mercury content of the fluorescents? Typical of social engineering solutions, solve one problem and create two or more that are worse.
Joe
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and this part was noteworthy
"Anxious to see what ratepayers got for their money, state utility regulators have devoted millions of dollars in the past three years for evaluation reports and field studies."
Mark
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Joe wrote:

Possibly because we've been using florescent lightbulbs for over 100 years without any controversy over Mercury.
Actually, the use of CFLs actually REDUCES Mercury contamination (in general). The extra power required to generate the difference between incandescent and CFLs means more coal has to be burnt. The Mercury generated by burning the extra coal is greater than that in the CFLs.
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On 1/20/2011 10:19 AM HeyBub spake thus:

Well, that's Don Klipstein's argument, which I sorta buy since he made it and not you.
But that still begs the question of what really happens to all that mercury from old CFLs. Believe me, I see busted twirly bulbs all over the place. And just because we've had a totally blasι attitude toward busted regular fluorescent tubes and the resulting release of mercury doesn't mean that nothing bad ever came of it.
Can you say "cumulative toxin"?
(And just curious: why did you capitalize Mercury? You're not of German descent, are you?)
--
Comment on quaint Usenet customs, from Usenet:

To me, the *plonk...* reminds me of the old man at the public hearing
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Don't think so. If we've made the collective decision to live with the hazards of coal-fired power plants, any overall reduction in the amount of you-know-what has to be a plus. Most would consider a process to convert 90% the mercury from a power plant into Fulminate of Mercury and scatter it around the streets of Detroit to be meritorious.

Yes, but not five times real fast.

I also capitalized Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Cobalt-thorium-G because I was taught in an earlier time to capitalize primary elements. Times have, however, changed along with the rules for capitalization.
Thanks for pointing out my eccentricity and causing me to check. I'll refrain from it in future so as not to horrify those who are a product of a more recent education.
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wrote:

That really changed?
I remember when the lower case G changed. I learned it with a straight line going down and then it changed to a curly line. Or maybe it was the other way? Well, no one writes anymore so I guess it makes no difference, but it puzzled me at the time.
I think Oxygen deserves to be upper case though. While most elements are critical for something (Carbon comes to mind), where would we be without good old Oxygen? That makes it more important than most things that get the Honor of capitalization.
As for CFLs, my anecdotal evidence is that they do not last as long as advertised. I did just read a big article in the newspaper about needing to recycle CFLs, so the attempt to get the word out is working. There was also a whole section on how to clean up after a broken bulb. That thing was so scary that, in spite of being a good old lefty, I want to run out and hoard some incandescents. It began with "open the windows and leave the room for 5-10 minutes, taking any pets with you. Turn off central heat or A/C".
Here, it was obviously referring to this from the EPA:
http://epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html
I mean really, do I want these things in my house?
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My experience is that they tend to "fall short of claimed life expectancy" in actual home usage, but in my experience they still greatly outlast incandescents and more importantly use about 25-33% as much electric energy to produce as much light as incandescents do.

That is an overblown cleanup scenario, slightly milder version of the same story as the need for "moon suits".

That appears to me on the alarmist side, but still advises only 5-10 minutes of "airing out" the room in question.
And why leave HVAC shut off for a few hours afterwards? If there was really a problem, would it not be better to blow it out?
For that matter, I remember recently LEDsMagazine.com describing EPA in what I can describe for now "unkind words", as to how they were working with (or otherwise) DOE for an "Energy Star" matter.
I also suspect for unrelated reason that USA's EPA is a bit obstructionist. What is the most industrial city in North America, north of the Rio Grande? I seem to think Mississauga, though someone close to me suggested to me the nearby Hamilton. Those two cities are not only north of the Rio Grande, but also north of Lake Erie and on the Canada side of Lake Ontario. I thought Canada is "more green" than USA - why having so much industry in comparison to USA with 1/10 of USA's population?

--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On 1/25/2011 1:12 AM, Don Klipstein wrote:

Lower expenses, thanks to Canada's health care system. Toyota made that quite clear a few years ago when it announced its decision to locate a new plant in Canada instead of the southern US. Even though the Canadian location mean a unionized workforce and thus higher wages, it was _still_ cheaper for Toyota, due to the huge savings in health insurance costs.
When you've got a major multinational corporation explaining that financial reality to you, shouldn't you pay attention? Hey guys, don't knock universal health care if it provides your country with a competitive advantage. Which it does.
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wrote:

Even taking into account the costs of heating in the nasty Woodstock Ontario winters (but not needing to spend nearly as much on air-conditioning)

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Hell Toupee wrote:

That's where Toyota didn't do their homework. There's no law that says an employer has to provide health-care coverage.
Not yet, anyway. Unless things change, many employers (those with more than "x" employees) will have to provide a government-sanctioned health insurance plan.
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wrote:

If Toyota didn't offer health care they'd be UAW long ago. Toyota has stayed close to UAW wages and benefits. Toyota hasn't failed by going to Canada. The U.S. has failed. Looks like U.S. business can't even compete using a non-union work force. Because every other industrialized country subsidizes health care for all workers. Why should a business build here when it's cheaper to build in a country where union costs are less than non-union costs here?
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

I disagree on two counts:
1. There are places in this country were unions are an anathema. Union organizers face the same problems as a black Catholic priest (i.e., death).
2. In my view, many businesses move offshore because of taxes. The U.S. has the 2nd highest corporate tax base (some 30+%) of any country on the planet. The U.S. actually ENCOURAGES corporations to move offshore with these confiscatory rates.
What the U.S. should do, again in my view, is to eliminate the corporate tax altogether. The corporation could pass the profits to the stockholders and the government could tax these individuals. Or, instead of passing the profits downstream, the corporation could use their profits to expand their business, providing jobs and other economic gains.
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wrote:

That might be a good idea, but it's not so clear cut. There's a wide discrepancy in U.S. corp effective tax rates. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/winners-and-losers-under-the-u-s-corporate-tax-code /
Be a big fight about it and you know who will win - the lobbyists. Many who happen to be former congress ctitters. That's what's wrong here - no leadership, just partisan politics and bought politicians.
I read a couple articles about that plant going to Canada. Favorable corp taxes was mentioned, and health care. Other things too, like educated workforce and location. And about $120 million from Ontario and the feds to sweeten the deal. But according to the article below, it was education and health care, and taxes weren't mentioned. I don't know the tax implications. And I understand Toyota built plants in Mississippi and Texas. Might be strategic reasons for that Canadian plant that have nothing to do with taxes or health care. Looks like Canadians have a low opinion of how our southern states provide education. BTW, this is old news. That plant started production in 2008.
************************************************************************** http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1435920/posts
"The factory will cost $800 million to build, with the federal and provincial governments kicking in $125 million of that to help cover research, training and infrastructure costs.
Several U.S. states were reportedly prepared to offer more than double that amount of subsidy. But Fedchun said much of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project.
He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.
"The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Ontario," Fedchun said.
In addition to lower training costs, Canadian workers are also $4 to $5 cheaper to employ partly thanks to the taxpayer-funded health-care system in Canada, said federal Industry Minister David Emmerson.
"Most people don't think of our health-care system as being a competitive advantage," he said.
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Vic Smith wrote:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/winners-and-losers-under-the-u-s-corporate-tax-code /
Thanks for the link - it reinforces my observation. The ultimate paragraph says it all:
"Companies in those industries where profit-shifting abroad is easier are also more likely to invest in work forces abroad - which is yet another reason why it may be especially timely for Congress to take up a corporate tax overhaul."
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On 1/20/2011 3:04 PM, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Which relates directly to how dangerous the mercury is from a broken bulb.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/ask_treehugger_14.php
What airborne mercury there is dissipates rapidly, there being no long term chronic exposure to mercury. Even so, much remains bound up in the fragments. Don't vacuum.
My general impression is that mercury content of CFLs is falling. NVision (HD) claims 2.2mg to 3.3mg. I imagine others are following suit.
http://www.nvisioncfl.com/mercury.aspx#What%20steps%20are%20being%20taken%20to%20reduce%20the%20amount%20of%20mercury%20in%20CFLs ?
Jeff
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harry wrote:

Sure, we have recycling centers.
It's hardly economical to burn up $3.00 worth of gas to carry a defunct light bulb to the collection point.
Just thinking out-loud here:
Assume the following: * 120 million households in the US * Each disposes of 5 CFLs per year * Each CFL contains 5mg of mercury
That works out (120,000,000 x 5 x 0.005) = 3 million grams of mercury
If this 3 million grams of mercury were distributed uniformly over the country, that works out to about 3/4 of a gram per square mile, not even worth considering.
If, however, these 3 million grams of mercury were concentrated - in landfills for example - one could simply avoid those areas.
We COULD establish a used CFL repository - call it "CfL Object Containment Area," or "CLOCA Mountain" for short.
Or we could redirect all defunct CFLs to a recycling center.
The current price of mercury is $600/36Kg ($0.02/g), or about $0.00001 per CFL. If some entity recovered ALL the mercury in the above hypothetical, its revenue would be... fifty thousand dollars per year (120,000,000 households x 5bulb/house x .005g/bulb x 1Kg/1000g x $600/36kg = $50.000)
A significant sum indeed.
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wrote:

<SNIP from here>
I am sick-and-tired of how much some people say whatever this-or-that which is not widely considered to have existed in the Garden of Eden being some poison that requires zero tolerance.
As much interest as there is in mercury toxicity, if mercury was so bad, would there not be some big number count of diagnoses of mercury poisoning after the days when 4-foot fluorescents had 10-11 times as much mercury as CFLs on average have, after the days when such 4-footers were allowed to be dumped into regular trash by commercial and industrial users?
Even in the 1980's, 4-foot fluorescents had 40 milligrams of mercury IIRC, and schools, offices, hospitals and retail stores were allowed to dump those into "regular trash". 4-foot fluorescents were the main light source used in such places at least since sometime in the 1960's, more likely 1950's.
So even now with lawyers looking for opportunity like that of asbestos, how many diagnoses of mercury poisoning do we have nowadays?
And how much mercury pollution is attributed to fluorescent lamps, and how much is attributed to coal burning? The way I hear it, coal burning is the mercury problem, and even was back in the bad old days of 1960's-1980's when fluorescent lamps had a lot more mercury than they have now, let alone the even smaller amount of mercury that CFLs have.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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Don Klipstein wrote:

Several years ago I recall some groups getting all exercised about the alarming levels of mercury in Chesapeake Bay fish. "We're all gonna die!" was the concerted uproar.
Then somebody wrangled a fish from the Smithsonian that was caught in Chesapeake Bay in the 1860's.
Guess what?
Yep. The museum fish had higher mercury levels than the most recent fish.
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On 1/20/2011 1:19 PM, HeyBub wrote:

What annoys me as a chemist is the general public thinks mercury in all forms is toxic. If so, we'd all be dead from the mercury we handled as kids or the fillings in our teeth or the Mercurochrome we used to use on cuts.
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