Risky new light bulb packaging rules
A Washington Times editorial
highlights the federal government’s new regulations about light bulb packaging:
In the midst of an economic crisis, troubles in Afghanistan and various terrorist threats around the globe, the last thing on the minds of Americans is the light bulb. That didn’t stop the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this month from releasing 91 pages of regulations that will force manufacturers to revise their packaging and make costly compact fluorescent bulbs appear more appealing to consumers.
Congress ordered these changes in 2007 as part of its decision to force the dim, overpriced, mercury-filled product on a public that so far has refused to embrace it willingly. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, bureaucratic rules will phase in, and 100-watt versions of Thomas Edison’s venerable invention will be first on the contraband list.
As if the risk from mercury exposure wasn’t bad enough, the FTC’s new labeling regulations pose another safety risk to consumers:
The FTC’s new labels dethrone the watt as the primary measure of a bulb’s effectiveness and replace it with the lumen as a measure of light output… De-emphasis of the watt on the new containers also will make it more likely that consumers could select the wrong bulb for a light fixture, increasing the risk of fire.
Safety, of course, is far from the minds of the feel-good regulators in Congress, who are pushing bulbs typically filled with up to 15 milligrams of mercury, a toxic substance. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, breaking one of these new bulbs can be a costly mistake. “If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass, then it’s time to throw them away. They’re gone for good,” the agency explained.
Send your used compact fluorescent light bulbs to Washington! There’s no better way to tell Washington to butt out. As the Washington Times says:
Congress already has taken over the design of shower heads, flush toilets and washing machines. It’s time to put an end to congressional nannying and repeal government intrusion into household plumbing and appliances.