Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where's Ralph When You Need Him?

While Nader focuses on another quixotic presidential bid, who is going to protect me from compact fluorescent light bulbs?

A couple of weeks ago, a floor lamp in my living room (the wrong place in my living room, I've been told) burned out it's three-way bulb. At the store in search of a new menage-a-lumiere, my choices were limited, so I figured I'd invest in one of the energy saving, long lasting, and expensive compact fluorescents. Long story short - it wasn't bright enough - but I wish I'd seen this at the time:

Compact fluorescent lights -- those energy-efficient bulbs popular as a way to combat global warming -- can pose a small risk of mercury poisoning to infants, young children and pregnant women if they break, two reports concluded today.

* * *

The Maine study, which shattered 65 bulbs to test air quality and clean-up methods made these recommendations: If a bulb breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum -- even on a rug -- to clean up a compact fluorescent light. Instead, while wearing rubber gloves, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the bulb broke. Use a glass jar with a screw top to contain the shards and clean-up debris.
Are you shitting me? I am a clumsy guy (ask the lovely lady who tells me my floor lamp's in the wrong place) and I break light bulbs on occasion. I don't want to have to call in one of the local meth-funded HAZMAT teams to clean up after my oopsie.

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