Friday, February 11, 2011

LED's Another Green Fiasco

Now that the Green Revolution has brought us compact fluorescent bulbs (sometimes called mercury bulbs because of their dangerous mercury vapor) as a replacement for incandescent bulbs, hopes were high that LED's might take over as a safe, preferred light source.

Unfortunately, University of California researchers have discovered that LED's have hazardous levels of lead, arsenic and other toxic substances.
"To see what LED lights contain – small Christmas-strand LED lights, in particular – Ogunseitan and his team smashed up some bulbs and tested their contents.

"They found that low-intensity red lights contained up to eight times the legally allowed level of lead in California.

"In general, however, the higher-intensity, brighter bulbs had more contaminants than lower-intensity ones.

“'We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and noncancer potential due to the high content of arsenic and lead,' the researchers wrote in their study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology."
. . .
"Lead and arsenic have been linked to cancer and other noncancerous health concerns, such as neurological damage, kidney disease and other illnesses."
[emphasis added]
Further, as with compact fluorescents, mini Hazmat precautions need to be taken to clean up broken LEDs.
"If an LED light bulb breaks at home, Ogunseitan suggested using a special broom to clean it up, as well as wearing gloves and a mask. He said emergency teams dispatched to clean up car crashes should take special precautions.

"Currently, there are no restrictions on putting LEDs into the trash. The team has sent their findings to state officials and federal health regulators."
Once again, without doing basic research, environmental activists, clueless "experts", and "finger in the wind" politicians have lead cities, states and the nation on a road to worse environmental danger than what they are phasing out.
"In 2009, Los Angeles announced a plan to replace 140,000 existing streetlight fixtures with LED units."
That'll make LA more healthy and attractive.

UPDATE: Another view from National Review's Deroy Murdock.

H/T Steven Hayward

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