Soon the sale of traditional Incandescent Light Bulbs will be made illegal in Canada. As a replacement, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (or CFLs) will become the most widely distributed type of light bulb available to Canadian customers. Many people experience mild to severe physical side-effects due to CFL exposure. The purpose of this petition is to prevent the enactment of the announced Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs, as outlined in the newly amended Energy Efficiency Rules.
While CFLs are considered efficient in terms of energy usage, the inherent hazards and environmental implications of these bulbs far outweigh any potential benefits. They are not an appropriate solution to our current environmental issues. This impending ban is Orwellian in nature- it actually reflects continued inaction on the part of the Government of Canada.
If our goal is the reduction of toxic emissions, then of course embracing "green" technologies is the appropriate action. A light bulb that contains mercury is not actually a green technology. The goal here is instead to pull the wool over people's eyes, so that they do not demand the REAL changes that are necessary. For too many people, this announcement from the Government of Canada gives the wrongful impression that "something is being done" about pollution and carbon emissions, when in reality very little is being done. The Conservative Government's record concerning climate change is blatantly one of the weakest out of all the G20 nations, and this fact is not about to change. If this action was actually a part of a much broader progressive environmental policy, then perhaps this petition would not be necessary. This is an empty token gesture. Ultimately, the hard questions that need to be asked are not being addressed.
Currently, LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulbs are actually the safest and most efficient light bulb in production. Unfortunately, the availability of LED lamps that are compatible with traditional light sockets is limited. The fact is that the only true "green" solutions to our energy demand issues involve replacing traditional means of energy production with Wind, Solar, and Ocean Current Energy sources. These are all perfectly viable solutions. Purposefully delaying the implementation of these technologies for the sake of profit margins is dangerous, unethical and extremely arrogant.
Following growing concern over the use and maintenance of CFLs, Health Canada has issued a number of advisories concerning this product, while the Canadian Government has consistently downplayed the situation. Some time after announcing this new law, federal government officials admitted to having overlooked the fact that these bulbs require special disposal procedures, and cannot be disposed of into traditional landfills (they must be disposed of at HAZARDOUS WASTE containment sites).
Elevated UV Radiation, mercury content, fire hazard, intense electromagnetic fields, clean-up and disposal procedures are all serious issues. Information regarding these issues has been intentionally withheld from the general public, in particular by our Government, the Energy Industry and of course many Canadian media organizations. For instance, did you know that if you should drop one of these bulbs and break it (very easy to do) the broken bulb will emit vaporized mercury into the air in your house? This is no exaggeration. Following are the clean-up instructions taken directly from the Health Canada Web Site. Keep in mind THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR DEALING WITH THE INHERENT TOXIC WASTE CREATED BY CFL DISPOSAL. Many Canadian cities are currently lobbying to get the CFL manufacturers to absorb the considerable cost of dealing with this toxic waste. So far they have been unsuccessful...
Health Canada Advisory:
"If you break a CFL, follow these directions for clean-up:
Leave the room Remove people and pets from the room and keep them out of the room during the clean-up process. Avoid stepping on any broken glass.
Ventilation Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes prior to starting clean-up by opening windows and doors to the outdoors. This will ensure that mercury vapour levels are reduced before you start cleaning.
Clean-up Directions for Hard and Carpeted Surfaces Do not use a vacuum to clean up the initial breakage, as it will spread the mercury vapour and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum. Wear disposable gloves, if available, to avoid direct contact with mercury and to prevent cuts. Scoop or sweep up the broken pieces and debris with two pieces of stiff paper or cardboard. Do not use a broom. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape or masking tape, to pick up any remaining fine glass or powder. Wipe the area with a damp paper towel, cloth or disposable wet wipe to remove any residual particles. Place the broken glass and clean-up materials in a glass container with a tight fitting lid to further minimize the release of mercury vapour.
Disposal Immediately place waste material outside of the building in a protected area away from children. Dispose of the waste at a household hazardous waste location as soon as possible. Check with local, provincial, or territorial authorities about the requirements for recycling and for the location of household hazardous waste depots or pick-up. Do not dispose of the waste in your household trash. For further information on disposal, please contact Environment Canada." (end of excerpt)
For further information, visit Health Canada's web site and enter search for "Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs". Also search the usual online information and video sharing sites for "Dangers of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs".
This is a very serious matter. Based on well documented, proven scientific evidence, the environmental and personal hazards of CFLs far outweigh any potential benefits they might provide.
Canadian Citizens and Citizens around the globe are being intentionally misled. These so-called "green" light-bulbs are not at all the environmentally friendly product we have been told that they are. Already many uninformed customers (including entire families) have unknowingly been exposed to the vaporized mercury contained in CFLs, and have been disposing of debris directly into their household garbage bins. This toxic waste then reaches our landfills, and will eventually make its way into watersheds and food chains. Apart from actual radioactive material, mercury is the most toxic element on our Planet.
Recently, as a reaction to increasing worries and complaints, Canadian Government officials have stated they will be imposing a regulation which would limit the mercury content in our CFLs to 3.5 mg. Most CFLs contain 3-5 mg of mercury. This action is both inadequate and offensive.
Please sign this petition and help send this message to Canadian Government Officials: "We do not/will not accept a Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs in Canada, Federally or Provincially."
We, as Canadians, need to educate ourselves about the hazards of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). The Canadian Federal Government is in the process of banning the sale of incandescent light bulbs and replacing them with CFLs. While they say they are doing this out of concern for the environment, this statement could not be further from the truth. Health Canada advisories alone should be enough for most intelligent people to realize there is something very wrong with this proposition. CFLs are, in fact, a serious health and environmental hazard. Please read the petition overview and sign it if you agree with the statements contained therein.