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Let’s see, compact fluorescent lamps are feared as a fire hazard that could burn down your home, may damage skin, contain mercury so that if one is broken, a hazmat team is recommended to do cleanup, and cost much more than incandescents.

So of course the government is mandating that CFLs replace the older technology bulbs.

The nation took another step in that direction today, with the ban on 75-watt bulbs taking effect. No more will be made in the U.S. or imported. They joined the 100-watt bulbs, which came under the same sentence of banishment a year ago. Next year, it’s the 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs that will go away.

The changes were set up by a law signed by former President George W. Bush in 2007 and has been promoted as a way to go green, and save energy. But unaddressed are a number of concerns, including lower light levels, a report that suggests CFLs might cause damage to skin by releasing UV rays, and others.

It was a study reported in the United Kingdom that said CFLs “are a fire hazard that could burn down your home.”

The ban is advancing even though members of Congress a year ago struck a deal that said the Obama administration was not allowed to spend any money to carry out any light bulb standards. But manufacturers already had been set up to make the change and whether enforcement is carried out or not has been relatively inconsequential.

One of those resisting Big Brother’s decision to control what bulbs consumers purchase was U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who wanted to overturn the ban unless it could be shown that CFLs do not provide a risk.

WND had reported a team of some 15 members of the U.S. House, including Bachmann, introduced H.R. 91 to repeal parts of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has been described as a “de facto ban” on the incandescent light bulb.

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At the time, Bachmann said, “The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy. In 2007, Congress overstepped its bounds by mandating that only ‘energy efficient’ light bulbs may be sold after Jan. 1, 2012. This mandate has sweeping effects on American families and businesses and needs serious consideration before taking effect.”

Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum, suggested the government was stepping into the ludicrous with its ban.

“CFLs are so toxic because of the mercury in the glass tubing that the cleanup procedure spelled out by the Environmental Protection Agency is downright scary. The EPA warns that if we break a CFL, we must take the pieces to a recycling center and not launder ‘clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage,’” she wrote at the time the ban started.

“CFLs must be rather dangerous if they will pollute the sewage,” she said.

Members of Congress have noted other CFL drawbacks:

  • Most CFLs are not manufactured in the United States. A Washington Post story reported that GE is shuttering a plant in Winchester, Va., killing 200 jobs in the process.
  • CFLs contain mercury and have to be disposed of carefully. The amount of mercury in one bulb is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels. The EPA recommends an elaborate cleanup ritual, including throwing away any clothes or bedding that has come in direct contact with the mercury from the bulb.
  • CFLs are not designed to be turned off and on frequently; the lifespan of a CFL may be reduced by up to 85 percent if you switch it off and on a lot.
  • People with certain health conditions can be harmed by CFLs. Reactions range from disabling eczema-like reactions to light sensitivities that can lead to skin cancer.
  • And the Energy Star program warns that CFLs can overheat and smoke.

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