Reduce Mercury: Install CFLs

Here's the counterintuitive fact of the day:
Installing CFLs reduces the amount of mercury entering our environment.
It's true that CFLs contain mercury--about 4 milligrams per bulb. Article1
However, the largest source of mercury pollution is the burning of coal in power plants. Mercury pollution from power plants is also worse, because the emissions are completely uncontrolled. Once it gets in the air, we have no control over where it ends up.
This chart (from an EPA fact sheet), shows the emissions of mercury that come from generating the electricity for an incandescent is greater than the total mercury from the CFL. If everyone switched out their lights for CFLs, the total mercury emitted to our environment would be reduced by thousands of pounds.

Mercury is a significant neurotoxin and overall bad pollutant, so be sure to take care when disposing of it (BTW - a watch battery has 5 times the mercury of a CFL, and an old style mercury thermostat--which you may still have on your wall--has 400 times that in a CFL. Dispose of these items properly, too).

So it's a win-win-win-win: a no-brainer, really. Change out as many lights as possible with more efficient lighting, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce mercury and other air pollutants and save money.

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