It’s too bad the Richmond Times-Dispatch doesn’t go to this much trouble to debunk EPA claims about mercury emissions from power plants.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:
Del. Bob Marshall says breaking a compact florescent light bulb is hazardous to the environment and to your shoes.
Marshall, R-Prince William, sounded warnings about the mercury inside each of those curly-cue CFL bulbs. If one the bulbs shatters, it creates a “hazardous materials situation in your home,” he said in Feb. 2 testimony before a House Commerce and Labor subcommittee at Virginia’s General Assembly.
“If (the mercury) contaminates your shoes, you’re supposed to throw away your shoes,” he said.
We’d hate to needlessly throw away a pair of shoes because a light bulb broke on them. So we decided to see if Marshall was correct…
To back his statement, he referred us to the websites of environmental agencies in four states. They advise throwing out clothing — and sometimes shoes — contaminated by a significant mercury release, such as the amount that would come from an old thermometer.
But CFL bulbs have a tiny fraction of a thermometer’s mercury. None of the agencies specifically advise throwing shoes hit by a broken CFL. Two of the states’ websites say to clean off the shoes. Our quick search found five additional state websites that recommended wiping off the shoes off and not a single state that advised to throw them out. The Environmental Protection Agency offers no shoe advice.
Marshall hasn’t proved his claim. We rate his statement False.