Our future lights…LED’s, well, perhaps, not so much

We did a post not that long ago about the CFL light bulbs that we will all soon have to buy because the government has baned incandescent bulbs.  It seems that these nifty new CFL’s are hazardous if they break, requiring safety procedures to simply clean up after the breakage, let alone, the requirements for disposal.

Many thought CFL’s would only be a brief period in our lighting “history” as LED’s, although expensive, would come to the rescue.  That may not be the case.

Scientists at the University of California  have found that LED’s may well be as hazardous as the CFL’s, but, for different reasons.

The low-intensity red LEDs (light emitting diodes) in Christmas lighting strands had up to eight times the amount of lead allowed under California law, and while the white bulbs had less lead than the colored ones, they had high levels of nickel…

So, here is what happens if one of the LED’s  break.

…sweep up the pieces with a special broom while wearing gloves and a mask…the tiny red LEDs are ‘hazardous waste’ and shouldn’t be tossed in the trash.

There is good news, though.

…it would take a hammer or pliers to get at the inside of the screw-in-bulbs.

Unless, of course, you have a four year old child in your household.

The heck, you say, those findings are only in Christmas lights. But, not so fast.

The scientists also crunched, leached and measured other LEDs: red, yellow and green traffic lights; household replacements for incandescents; automobile headlights and brake lights. Yet they won’t release those findings until they’re peer-reviewed in a few months. Ogunseitan said these LEDs also contained toxic chemicals.

Silly me, but, if an incandescent bulb broke, no toxic chemicals were released in your home.  No need for a hazmat suit for clean up, or a special broom.

By the way, does anyone know where I can buy one of those “special brooms” to clean up the LED residue?

7 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    bwahahahahahaaaa….!  SOS I adore your sense of humor…

    Government is more concerned with milk spills than with LED light breakage/contamination/clean-up.  We'll find out what's in these things once incandescent bulbs are effectively impossible to get a hold of.  Then all the findings will be released and the paranoid people (like me) will have a basement full of the oldies but goodies on hand.  🙂

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Hazardous waste is like racism: you can always find it under every rock if you are looking for it.


    I wonder when they are going to regulate a very dangerous oxidizer and a fuel for fires, toxic in excess: oxygen?

  3. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    We are so smart, we are killing ourselves.

    Let see, remove lead from paint because it is unhealthy.  Put mercury in the CFLs and lead and nickel in the LEDs and it isn't unhealthy— it's "green" and we can revitalize our economy.

    And from the environmentalists:  crickets !!    

    They are like war protesters: 1.  They only come out with a Republican President.   2.  The media is refusing to give them air time.

    Two other choices exist: 3.  They are struggling (growing a conscience) with the conundrum of saying one thing but doing another   4.  They don't know what to do – they got what they asked for but are finding out they weren't careful when they asked for it.   

  4. johnboy111
    johnboy111 says:

    propose a bill that requires all cfl's sold to have a three page EPA clean up overview attached//also a disclaimer you must sign off on before you can leave the store???

  5. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Because of the dangers posed by global warming climate change seasonal weather snow and rain, and the pollution caused by coal and gas fired power plants, it's important that homes use these new technologies. The LEDs and CFLs use less electricity, which causes less harmful substances to be spewed into the atmosphere generating power for lights. They keep harmful substances inside one's home, where they belong. It's only you selfish pigs who value your eyesight and like to be able to walk down a brightly lit hallway without bumping into things who are opposed.

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