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Issue 15
July , 2009
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Waste CFLs pose health hazard

Source: Deccan Herald, Bangalore, Date: June , 2009

As the energy conservation becomes a necessity, the incandescent lamps have paved way for CFLs, ‘the green bulb’ considering their longer life and least energy consumption. “We have seen this being dumped in lakes and other places. We found a huge quantity in Konasandra lake near Kengeri. It is hazardous to all living beings, as this bulb contains mercury. It is bound to contaminate the groundwater, but so far, no study is being taken up other than these findings,” said Dr Nandini, Reader, Department of Environment Sciences, Bangalore University. With no manufacturing units in the City, the CFL bulbs are imported in parts and assembled in various unorganised assembling units spread across the City. The bulb has two main parts - the gas-filled burner (bulb or burner) and the magnetic or electronic ballast. “The tube also contains organ gas, which is again harmful to health,” explained Dr Nandini. Compared to general service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use less power and have a longer life span. The average rated life of a CFL is between 8 and 15 times than that of incandescent. CFLs typically have a rated lifespan of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, whereas incandescent lamps are usually manufactured to have a lifespan of 750 hours or 1,000 hours and consumes about one fifth of the power, equivalent to incandescent lamps.

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