Traditional lightbulbs banned by EU
Traditional light bulbs are to be banned from 2010, EU energy ministers have decided.
The high energy filament bulbs are being phased out in order to improve energy efficiency and meet climate change targets.
The switchover, which will affect all of the European Union's 500 million citizens, was first ordered at a Brussels summit last year as part of an ambitious energy policy to fight climate change.
A meeting of EU energy ministers, including the UK's new secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Miliband decided to go ahead with the ban.
The move has previously proved controversial.
Traditional light bulbs are around 38p compared to £1.38 for the cheapest low energy models and campaigners have complained about affordability, as well as the cost of having to adapt fittings for the new bulbs.
The fluorescent bulbs generally take time to warm up and there have been complaints the light is too dim and has a tendency to flicker.
There are also worries over how the bulbs will be disposed of. Under new regulations for hazardous waste, councils are obliged to recycle low energy bulbs at considerable cost to the tax payer.
Incandescent filament light bulbs use up to five times as much energy as efficient lights such as "compact fluorescent lamps" (CFLs).
Advocates claim that replacing the worst-performing lamps with today's best available technology will reduce domestic energy consumption for lighting by 60 per cent in the EU, equivalent to saving 30 million tons of CO2 pollution every year.
However questions remain over the cost, health impact and aesthetic quality of the new low-energy fluorescent bulbs.
There have been concerns low energy bulbs can cause headaches, rashes and even sunburn. If the bulbs break the toxic mecury inside can cause migraine and dizziness. The bulbs are also too big for some old-fashioned fittings, can look out of place in historic homes and are generally more expensive - although the EU has vowed cost will come down before 2010.
The Health Protection Agency warned consumers they should not stay close to open energy saving bulbs for more than an hour.
Environmental groups welcomed the ruling.
Mariangiola Fabbri , World Wildlife Fund energy policy officer, said legislation is needed to ensure energy efficiency.
She said: "Keeping energy efficiency as an optional tool will not lead us towards the much needed 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2020."
Energy ministers also discussed the controversial target to generate 20 per cent of energy from renewables by 2020 at the meeting. The UK has argued that aviation should be removed from the target because it is not yet possible to run aeroplanes on renewables and it could ground the industry. But most other EU ministers at the meeting agreed aviation should remain part of the target.
The EU council is due to meet next week to discuss the target to reduce carbon emission by 20 per cent by 2020. Previously the EU had pledged this will be increased to 30 per cent as long as the rest of the developed world does the same.
But environmentalists fear this pledge will be dropped in the light of the economic crisis, scuppering hoped of an ambitious world target at the UN climate change talks planned for Copenhagen next year.
Article from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/
Fluorescent lamp vs. Edison’s incandescent lamp
© 2008 Ted Twietmeyer
Do you feel the pain of that black iron boot yet? Have you looked in the mirror for that footprint on your butt? You might be surprised at what you’ll see. We’re going to take a closer look at breathing in abrasives, screw-in fluorescent lamps, Freon and hybrid cars and see what really makes sense.
All over the world, carbon footprint madness has reached epidemic proportions. The green people (greenies) everywhere have lost their way, along with their minds and common sense. I haven’t been able to pin down precisely who started all this carbon fear-mongering nonsense, but it has escalated way out of control. Many people even promote it incessantly without realizing what they are swearing allegiance to. Even though 32,000 scientists recently signed a proclamation that global warming is nonsense, and the US Army admitted the problem is coming from the Sun itself.
Grinding Away at Your Lungs
Chemicals like barium oxide and aluminum oxide now being sprayed into the atmosphere are helping to create the mother of all carbon footprints and accelerate the warming of our planet. This madness is beyond all comprehension, right there overhead outside almost every day in plain sight, yet it seems to be almost totally ignored by the greenies. Perhaps because one Dr. Teller wrote a paper stating it would work, it must be so.
Even worse, aluminum oxide is an abrasive which is part of grinding and cutting disks for power tools. Users of abrasive disks of all kinds are strongly advised to protect their health by use of a respirator or surgical mask to prevent inhaling the dust. Does aluminum oxide sound healthy for your lungs and respiratory tract? But you could step outside and breathe it in without even knowing it.
Carbon footprints are a measure of how much virtual land a person requires (in addition to about two square feet of space someone occupies when standing.) According to experts on a television show series that ran on BBC America, a typical carbon footprint for a family of four often occupies not just the property their home sits on, but it overshadows the space of several homes on all four sides around them. (Another prime example of being sent on a guilt-trip-via-television)
Screw-in Light Bulbs Show Screwy Thinking
Greenie fanatics are running around like headless chickens wielding screw-in fluorescent light bulbs, busily replacing incandescent lamps everywhere as fast as they can. Apparently they don’t take much time to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom until they’ve accomplished their mission.
Yet few people who use these lamps understand the health hazard of breaking one by dropping it, or the complex recycling issues. The safest cleanup method does not use a vacuum cleaner because of the poisonous phosphor which coats the glass inside these lamps.
Fig. 1 – Innocent (?) common made-in-China screw-in fluorescent lamp and circuit board. Every time you replace one of these lamps, everything you see here is thrown away. It doesn’t matter who the manufacturer is – the basic design is still the same. 
Greenies rant about recycling and how wonderful fluorescent lamps are. So let’s take a closer look at the recycling issues of these lamps vs. Edison’s incandescent lamp:
Fine metal filament support - recyclable
Circuit board – epoxy/paper composite
Read more: http://www.data4science.net/essays.php?EssayID=818