Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Simple and straightforward" precautions if you break a compact fluorescent lamp

This completely pointless nonsense, (ask yourself the obvious question - what percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions, currently in the order of 40 billion tonnes a year, will be saved by banning incandescent lights globes? Answer: a tiny fraction of a percent), would have happened anyway, but still, thank you Malcolm Turnbull for nothing.

Just so you could satisfy the rich greenie wankers in your seat of Wentworth we are going to have to put up with this:

Shops will be banned from next month from selling incandescent lights globes, so why isn’t the Rudd Government now running an ad campaign warning consumers of the dangers of switching to low-energy compact fluorescent lamps instead?

Surely it doesn’t want to save the planet by poisoning people?

Tens of thousands of Australians will next month be forced to buy these new greenhouse-friendly CFLs without the Government warning them that, unlike normal light bulbs, they contain mercury and are dangerous when broken. What’s more, they shouldn’t just be thrown out with the rubbish.

How many consumers know this?

How many of them have looked up the Environment Department’s website to find what its bureaucrats falsely describe as the “simple and straightforward” precautions to take against poisoning should one of these lamps smash:
- Open nearby windows and doors to allow the room to ventilate for 15 minutes before cleaning up the broken lamp. Do not leave on any air conditioning or heating equipment which could recirculate mercury vapours back into the room.
- Do not use a vacuum cleaner or broom on hard surfaces because this can spread the contents of the lamp and contaminate the cleaner. Instead scoop up broken material (e.g. using stiff paper or cardboard), if possible into a glass container which can be sealed with a metal lid.
- Use disposable rubber gloves rather than bare hands.
- Use a disposable brush to carefully sweep up the pieces.
- Use sticky tape and/or a damp cloth to wipe up any remaining glass fragments and/or powders.
- On carpets or fabrics, carefully remove as much glass and/or powdered material using a scoop and sticky tape; if vacuuming of the surface is needed to remove residual material, ensure that the vacuum bag is discarded or the canister is wiped thoroughly clean.
- Dispose of cleanup equipment (i.e. gloves, brush, damp paper) and sealed containers containing pieces of the broken lamp in your outside rubbish bin - never in your recycling bin.
- While not all of the recommended cleanup and disposal equipment described above may be available (particularly a suitably sealed glass container), it is important to emphasise that the transfer of the broken CFL and clean-up materials to an outside rubbish bin (preferably sealed) as soon as possible is the most effective way of reducing potential contamination of the indoor environment.
“Simple and straightforward”? Peter Garrett’s department not only deceives you about global warming, but about the ease of this useful “fix”.

Surely this is safety information the Rudd Government should be publicising widely, on radio and television, before next month’s switch. Is the fact that there’s been no such campaign, at least to date, because the Government is scared of a consumer backlash? Already people are rushing stores to stock up on the soon-to-be-banned incandescents.

And where is the publicity campaign to warn householders that the millions of CFLs they’ll soon be buying cannot all be thrown into the bin when they’ve stopped working?

Again, here is the official procedure, as recommended by the Rudd Government - but not widely advertised:
At present, CFLs can generally be disposed of in regular garbage bins - where the garbage goes to landfill. You should check with your local authority, responsible for garbage collection, as to its advice on disposal of CFLs as different local authorities may have different arrangements. For example, some garbage is sent to waste processors and this may change the arrangements for disposal. Should you choose to dispose of your CFLs this way then it’s best to wrap them in newspaper to prevent them from breaking.

You should not place CFLs in your kerbside recycling collection because they can break during transport and contaminate recyclable items.
How smart is it to force Australians to use a product so apparently dangerous, and so difficult to dispose of when broken?  How responsible is it not to mount a campaign to warn them how to protect themselves?

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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