Va. pol says ‘you’re supposed to throw away your shoes’ if a CFL light bulb breaks on them

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.

Read the entire report.

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2 responses to “Va. pol says ‘you’re supposed to throw away your shoes’ if a CFL light bulb breaks on them

  1. Ha ha talk about splitting hairs…
    and Politifact got this more wrong than right:
    It turns out out that shoes should not just be thoroughly cleaned
    – but indeed thrown away, at least according to the Kentucky EPA site specifically referred to by Bob Marshall

    See http://dep.ky.gov/Documents/MercurySpills.pdf
    Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection
    The Kentucky site has this information
    “Cleaning up small spills” NOTE! = small spills
    “Small spills (the amount from a thermometer or less)” NOTE! = from a thermometer or LESS!
    ………instructions ……….then:
    “When you are finished, place the container, any tools you used including gloves, and
    contaminated shoes and clothing into a garbage bag – double-bag it for good measure.
    NOTE = contaminated shoes into a garbage bag

    Politifact quotes the Kentucky guy as saying that’s about Large spills
    NOT what the site says!

    Typical Politifact Unfact…and not the first one, on the subject.
    They also have a long previous misleading piece, that they link to,
    “Hey this is not a light bulb ban…” (yawn)
    Of course it is a ban, and not just because a standard not allowing some bulbs obviously bans them,
    but also on incandescent technology for ordinary bulbs, including touted ‘halogens”, based on the EISA 45 lumen per W end regulation standard.

    More about the Deception spin behind banning light bulbs:

    http://freedomlightbulb.blogspot.com/p/deception-behind-banning-light-bulbs.html

  2. btw, as you mention mercury emissions from power plants,
    the yarn on incandescent mercury emissions from coal plants being “worse” than CFL mercury

    http://ceolas.net/#li198x

    Even if that was so,,
    why the delight of “green people” in proclaiming “tuna fish”, “thermometers”, “dental fillings”, “coal emissions” etc to be “much worse”…
    If there is a problem – Deal with the problem.
    X number of other sources would hardly make CFL mercury “right”

    Also, it seems dirty coal power plant soot seeds clouds, making them more reflective, cooling the planet
    The coal plant issue only arose after removing soot, not CO2, from emissions
    Burn dirty coal, stop global warming? ;-)

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