IBD: Mercury Madness

The EPA thinks it’s worth spending billions of dollars each year to reduce already minuscule amounts of mercury in the outside air. So why is it trying to shove mercury-laced fluorescent bulbs into everyone’s homes?

Investor’s Business Daily editorializes,

… When the EPA announced its new air pollution rules this week — designed to reduce power plant emissions of mercury and other to gases — Administrator Lisa Jackson blogged that:

“Mercury is a neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to children, and emissions of mercury and other air toxics have been linked to damage to developing nervous systems, respiratory illnesses and other diseases.”

At $10 billion a year, complying with the new rules won’t come cheap, and that assumes the EPA’s low-ball estimate comes true. According to the coal industry, this is the most expensive rule the EPA’s ever imposed.

Fear not, since Jackson claims the “health and economic benefits” will be many times greater than the costs.

But here’s the curious thing: While whipping up fear about mercury in the outdoors, the EPA is actively downplaying mercury’s health risks when it comes out of fluorescent bulbs inside people’s homes.

In a pamphlet extolling the virtues of the looming federal ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs, the EPA says it’s a “myth” that the mercury used in compact fluorescent lights is “dangerous in your home.”

“There’s no evidence,” the brochure says, that “brief exposure to the mercury in a broken bulb presents a health risk to you or your family.” Just air out the room, sweep up the debris into a jar and you’re fine.

Truth is there’s no meaningful health risk from either the bulbs or the power plants…

For more details on this hypocrisy, check out JunkScience.com’s “EPA’s Mercurial Hypocrisy.”

One thought on “IBD: Mercury Madness”

  1. Also, read the back of the light package. MOST of this mercury is newly-introduced since most of the new bulbs are made in China. As if we didn’t have enough mercury in our own environment, we’re importing it from China.

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