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Lights Out for Incandescent Bulbs but LEDs Contain Lead

February 11, 2011

I started replacing my incandescent bulbs a few years ago. I stopped when I heard a report that the new bulbs contain mercury. Mercury is a very toxic substance. So, i stopped replacing my old bulbs and have waited for someone to come up with a safe replacement. The problem is in California we began phasing out the old bulbs this year and federal standards will kick in for the rest of the country next year.

Today I found this article and I am inclined to stock up on the old incandescent bulbs as we just have not found a suitable and safe alternative.

The Orange County Register reports today:

The LED bulbs sold as safe and eco-friendly can contain high levels of lead, arsenic and other hazardous substances, a new UC Irvine study shows – the same bulbs widely used in headlights, traffic lights, even holiday lights.

The toxic material could increase the risk of cancer, kidney disease and other illnesses, although the risks are more long-term than immediate; a single exposure to a broken bulb is unlikely to cause illness.

The lights should be treated as hazardous materials, and should not be disposed of in regular landfill trash, he said, because of the risk of leaching into soil and groundwater.

Entire article, click here

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