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Eco-friendly bulbs

Many Eco-friendly bulbs contain toxic chemicals

Sunday, April 10, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: eco-friendly bulbs, toxic chemicals, health news

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(NaturalNews) Though the notion now borders on political incorrectness among many environmentalists, the simple incandescent light bulb is still the cleanest, most non-toxic form of consumer lighting available. A new study published by the University of California - Irvine (UCI) has found that popular energy-saving LED light bulbs are filled with high levels of lead, arsenic, and various other toxic chemicals.

Much like hazardous compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which numerous investigations have shown contain dangerously high levels of mercury that damage human health and pollute the environment (http://www.naturalnews.com/031276_fluorescen...), the LED bulbs used in things like Christmas lights, traffic signals, and vehicle headlights, may be just as bad.

Oladele Ogunseitan, professor of public health and social ecology at UCI and lead author of the new study, and his team, crushed a variety of different LED bulbs to expose their internal chemicals. They then simulated an acid-rain scenario to see how the chemicals in the bulbs would react, and what the resulting liquid would be composed of.

They found that high-intensity red LED bulbs contained the highest levels of arsenic, a toxic element that damages cells and leads to cardiovascular problems, among other things. And low-intensity red LED bulbs were found to have the highest levels of lead, a toxic heavy metal that damages bones, the heart, intestines, kidneys, and the reproductive and nervous systems. White bulbs had high level of nickel, another potentially damaging metal that can cause skin problems.

In a landfill situation, broken LED bulbs can contaminate ground water supplies, rivers, streams, and lakes. In individual homes, the breakage of such bulbs is similar to CFLs in that careful cleanup is necessary as the residue is highly toxic. And even when taking precautions, bulb fumes and their corresponding chemicals can get into carpet and other hard-to-clean places, exposing young children to untold levels of such toxins over long periods of time.

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