Thanks to misguided policy driven by eco groups, greedy big business and a weak government, Thomas Edison’s greatest invention — the incandescent light bulb — has effectively been banned.
Yes, that old faithful and harmless bulb that has served humanity well for more than a century has been banished from the marketplace because environmental groups decided it wasn’t energy “efficient” enough. It all started Jan. 1.
As part of the Energy Independence and Security Act signed in 2007, lobbying groups pressured government officials, including former President George W. Bush, to ban incandescents in a multiyear phaseout. So not only have Americans lost their consumer choice, we must now buy the “approved” light bulbs.
What are some of the more “efficient” light bulb options available now?
The compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL): Proponents say they last longer than incandescents, therefore are more efficient. Sounds nice, but did you know that when a CFL is switched on, it emits harmful UV radiation increasing skin cancer risk? Yes cancer. As in melanoma.
“Ultraviolet light is similar to the ultraviolet wavelengths found in natural sunlight, and we do not want huge amounts or extra amounts of ultraviolet light on our skin because it can cause biological effects that can lead to cancer,” Dr. Elma Baron, director in the lasers and photo-medicine department at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told Fox News.
Further, CFLs present a dangerous public health risk given they contain mercury, which is potentially toxic to humans if a bulb breaks and people, especially children, come in contact with mercury vapor.
With respect to the environment, the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers report 98 percent of CFLs end up in landfills. Do we really want toxic mercury polluting Mother Earth?
As for the other “better” light bulb option, the LED, it emits blue light, which can interfere with our natural ability to produce melatonin, the hormone needed to fall asleep, according to reports.
So once again, Americans sheepishly allow government and special interest groups to interfere in commerce and strip consumer choice at a price to public health and safety as well as the environment.
Thomas Edison is rolling in his grave.
Adriana Cohen is co-host of “Trending Now” on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16 or log on to her website at adrianacohen.com.