Consumer health advocate and EcoLEDs founder issues environmental warning over mercury content of compact fluorescent bulbs

Tucson, Ariz. (May 14, 2007) - As the nation is increasingly turning to energy efficient fluorescent lights in order to reduce the use of extremely inefficient incandescent lighting products, consumer health advocate and outspoken environmentalist Mike Adams is warning the public about the mercury content of fluorescent lights. All compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury vapor, and when those lights are disposed of in a landfill, they often break, releasing the mercury directly into the local environment where it can poison waterways and cropland.

"Compact fluorescent light bulbs may seem like they're good for the environment, but they're actually quite toxic," said Mike Adams. "There's enough mercury in one compact fluorescent light bulb to contaminate 7,000 gallons of fresh water."

Adams is concerned that if American households increasingly turn to fluorescent lights, consumers may unleash a toxic wave of new mercury that threatens to poison the rivers, streams, oceans and croplands of America. If every household in the United States replaced just ten light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, that would introduce about 4 billion milligrams of mercury into the environment, or 4,000 kilograms. One teaspoon of mercury is enough to contaminate an entire lake.

Imagine truckloads of pure mercury being dumped across America," Adams warns. "That's what will be happening if consumers keep buying fluorescent lights."

Consumers are also placed in danger when fluorescent lights break, releasing mercury vapor. Simply inhaling near a broken fluorescent light results in mercury vapor being drawn into the lungs where it enters the bloodstream. Mercury is a well known neurotoxin that directly causes birth defects, immune suppression and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. "Fluorescent lights pose a significant health hazard to children, adults and senior citizens," Adams explained. "And the problem is made worse by the fact that very few people are aware that compact fluorescent lights actually contain mercury vapor."

To counter the problem, Adams has launched a line of mercury-free energy efficient lighting products that adhere to strict European RoHS guidelines (Reduction of Hazardous Substances). His lights, described at, are 300% more energy efficient than fluorescent light bulbs, and they have no hum, flicker or warm-up time requirements. They're 1000% more energy efficient than incandescent lights and produce virtually no waste heat. They also last 50,000 hours: ten times longer than fluorescent bulbs and fifty times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Although LED lights initially cost more than other lighting technologies, they pay for themselves in 1-to-2 years in energy savings while substantially reducing CO2 emissions.

"We need to transition to more energy efficient lighting, but not at the cost of destroying the environment through widespread mercury contamination," Adams said.

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