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Shedding Some Light on Lighting

by Adam Neugebauer
March/April 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/shedding-some-light-on-lighting/5018660/

"Should I be concerned about mercury exposure from compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)?"

I admit that I was pretty much blindsided by this question after my speech at the Nature Forum last November. "Well great," I thought to myself, "CFLs have had to fight off all of the negative stereo-types caused by their original, crude forms including flickering, buzzing, poor color quality, slow start-up, and so on and now this?" It's not that the question was asked in a particularly audacious or unfair manner, I simply had never heard of this issue. And seeing as how young children are often more susceptible to the harmful effects of chemical exposures, I quickly understood how this question was particularly urgent for child care centers, especially centers looking to become more environ-mentally friendly. Therefore, the first chance I got, I rushed back to my room and did some quick online research.

While Google can readily provide you with a plethora of resources on the topic, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to have the most thorough, even-handed coverage. First things first: fluorescent lamps (those long glass tubes) and compact fluorescent bulbs (the ones that can look like a soft-serve ice cream cone) both require the ...

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