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CFLs contain two substances which have a noxious impact on the environment:
- UNEP: Any manufacturing process that employs mercury will have mercury waste.
- The environmental and social costs concomitant with the several steps needed to manufacture CFLs
have to be factored in. If this were done, the price of a CFL should rocket sky-high. Ethically it is unjusitified
to manufacture these lamps.
- The removal of wasted mercury is very tedious work and almost impossible to realize. Mercury, spread in
nature, can be transformed into methyl mercury, which is a very dangerous poison to all forms of life.
- As soon as Hg-free substitutes are affordable, the mercury containing product has to be banned.
Therefore, we ask an immediate ban on CFLs. Personal pursuit of gain may no longer jeopardize the life of this planet!
2. Rare Earth Elements (REE), which are associated with a huge pollution.
Spaarlampen bevatten twee substanties die een schadelijke invloed hebben op het milieu:
- UNEP: Elk productieproces met kwik gaat altijd gepaard met verlies van kwik.
- De milieu- en sociale kost tijdens de verscheidene stappen die nodig zijn om spaarlampen
te maken, moeten in de prijs verrekend worden. Indien dit het geval zou zijn, zou de prijs van spaarlampen
onbetaalbaar zijn. In elk geval is de productie van deze lampen niet te rechtvaardigen.
- Het verwijderen van gelekte kwik is zeer lastig en is bijna onmogelijk te realizeren. Wanneer kwik in
de natuur is terechtgekomen, kan het omgevormd worden tot methylkwik, een stof die zeer giftig
is voor alle levensvormen.
- Zodra kwikvrije alternatieven beschikbaar zijn, moeten de kwikhoudende producten verboden worden. Daarom
vragen we een onmiddellijk verbod van spaarlampen. Persoonlijk winstbejag mag niet langer het leven van deze
planeet in gevaar brengen!
2. Zeldzame aardmetalen die geassocieerd worden met een zeer grote vervuiling.
The history of light:
- The first words in Genesis, placed in the mouth of God, were:"Let
there be light." Light is of primordial importance to humans. One can even say that humans are the product
of the interrelation between the sun, the earth and the moon. From times immemorial, people love the sunrise, the first light after a dark night.
In the beginning of history, the sun and the moon were the only source of light.
- The earliest physical evidence of controlled fire by Homo erectus was dated at
around 700,000 years B.C. and now the date has been pushed back to about a million years. According to
Berna, learning to use fire was an important turning point for our species - both evolutionarily and
culturally. "Control of fire is a tool for adapting to different environments," he says.
"It provides warmth, it provides light...and it keeps away wild animals." (Source)
- The wick candle was developed by the Romans, using it to aid travelers at dark, and lighting
homes and places of worship at night. The principal ingredient was tallow, gathered from cattle of sheep suet. These candles produce
a smoky flame or emit an acrid odor when burned. (History of Candles)
- In the Middle Ages, beeswax was used to make candles. They burned pure and clean. However, they
were expensive, and, therefore, only the wealthy could afford them. (Ibidem)
- In the 18th century, spermaceti, a wax obtained by crystallizing sperm whale oil, became available in quantity.
Like beeswax, the spermaceti wax did not elicit a repugnant odor when burned. (Ibid.)
- Further developments in candlemaking occurred in 1850 with the production of paraffin wax made from
oil and coal shales. Processed by distilling the residues left after crude petroleum was refined, the
bluish-white wax was found to burn cleanly, and with no unpleasant odor. Of greatest significance was its
cost - paraffin wax was more economical to produce than any preceding candle fuel developed. And while
paraffin's low melting point may have posed a threat to its popularity, the discovery of stearic acid
solved this problem. Hard and durable, stearic acid was being produced in quantity by the end of the 19th
century. By this period, most candles being manufactured consisted of paraffin and stearic acid. (Ibid.)
- Introduction of the incandescent light bulb in 1879 by Thomas Edison. The mix of visible light (mainly red) and infrared light
was healthy to the users: Professor Richard Funk demonstrated that blue light can damage retinal cells,
however, infrared light stimulates cells to repair itself. (Bulb Fiction, film by Christoph Mayr)
- Phoebus, the light bulbs cartel, founded in the 1920s, not only ensured the profit margins and the
market share of the participating companies, including Osram, Philips and General Electric, it was
also responsible that the life time of incandescent lamps, which at the end of the 19th Century under
Thomas Edison was still 1500 hours, was reduced by 1935 at 1000 hours. (Bulb Fiction, film by Christoph Mayr)
- 1920s: The first frosted lightbulb is produced (Source)
- 1950s: Quartz glass and halogen light bulb are produced. (Ibid.)
- The first practical and viable fluorescent lamp was sold in 1938. (Source)
- 1980s: The first CFLs were introduced. However, regarding the color reproduction, these lamps could
never compete with the full quality of light (CRI = 100) produced by the incandescent and halogen lamps. In this sense,
these lamps are not substitute lamps but low-quality and dangerous products. The first CFLs contained
very dangerous amounts of mercury. But even now, these lamps are harmful.
- LEDs are still in a developing phase. It is very difficult to imitate the full spectrum of light of the
incandescent light bulbs. Even worse, due to their preponderant bluish light, glare, flicker and
deregulating the biological clock, serious damage can be inflicted to our health.
- Around 2012: In many countries over the world, incandescent light bulbs are banned WHILE THERE IS NO
REAL SUBSTITUTE! It seems that regarding light reproduction, we have entered the dark Middle Ages!
More and more people like to use candles instead of the modern lamps to fill out the need of red light and to
saveguard their health. The
glorious era, when people had the luxury to use incandescent light bulbs, has passed. This is an
intolerable decline of our culture and is the consequence of the lobbying of lighting companies. No longer man's
major source of light, candles continue to grow in popularity and use. Today, candles symbolize
celebration, mark romance, define ceremony, and accent decor — continuing to cast a warm glow for all to
My latest reports
- My report
in reply to the Ecodesign Consultation Forum to be held in Brussels (25 November 2013) where probably a postponement of the ban
on halogen lamps will be discussed.
- Press release 18 December 2012
- Persbericht 18 december 2012
to the EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, 31 August 2012. The damage made by CFLs has taken such
large proportions that that the ban on incandescent lamps has to be exempted.
aan de EU Commissaris Günther Oettinger, 31 augustus 2012. De schade aangericht door spaarlampen
heeft dusdanige proporties aangenomen dat het verbod op gloeilampen (deels) moet worden opgeheven.
- Open Letter to EPA, August 13, 2012
EPA has to create incentives for switching to Hg-free lamps. A cleaner environment tolerates only Hg-free
products if these exist. Alternatives without mercury are available: halogen lamps, incandescent lamps and
- Mercury in Fluorescent Lighting,
update December 15, 2011. My purpose is to prove that CFLs are more harmful to the environment than
incandescent lamps in countries where the electricity production does not cause an extensive emission of
mercury, such as the U.S., the countries of Europe, etc. In countries with an large emission of mercury
(China, India, etc.), the right policy should be to reduce the mercury emission of power plants and not to