How Many Politicians Does It Take to Change A Lightbulb? (Rep. Michael Burgess)

I feel compelled to educate both Members and the general public about mercury safety issues conspicuously missing from the so called energy bill.  Sadly, the Rules Committee decided my amendment was not made in order.  But I am not deterred from making certain my amendment language concerning the safety of compact fluorescent light bulbs is known.

Why, you may ask is this an issue?  Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), admittedly energy efficient and cost effective, do carry a significant risk from mercury, about 5 milligrams per light bulb to be exact.

Remember the old mercury thermometers that we all used to use but are no longer on the market?  Well, CFLs are the new cause for concern.  Luckily, the federal government is actually aware this is a problem, but they are taking their time to rectify the situation.

My amendment deals with the timeline that is going to outlaw the incandescent bulb in this country by 2012. That means, for the current time, you will probably be using one of these light bulbs in your home.

The problem comes when the light bulbs break.  If and when they do, what does the Environmental Protection Agency recommend?  It recommends you open the window and leave the room for 15 minutes. Then, put on rubber gloves and bag the broken pieces into two sealed zip-lock bags before you place them in an “outside