Many people have switched to energy saving light-bulbs. And for good reasons: they use about 80% less electricity than "normal" light-bulbs. But few people know that these allegedly eco-friendly bulbs are not quite as friendly as they ought to be. Conventional energy-saving light-bulbs contain quicksilver, which is released if the bulb breaks and can contaminate a home for many years to come. Quicksilver is highly toxic. It can cause permanent damage and accumulates in the brain, effectively making you a little less clever every time you are exposed to it. It is similarly toxic to the environment, and if disposed of improperly, that is, in land-fills, it will contaminate the area.
Because the packaging of such bulbs carries no adequate warning, most people are unaware of this, so most energy-saver bulbs do indeed end up in land-fills. And how many people know the dangers of breaking one of these bulbs and being exposed to the fumes that are emitted from it?
A recent German study has shown that when the bulb heats up, a small amount of toxic fumes is emitted even when the bulb is intact.
So while they do use up to 80% less energy than conventional bulbs, the substances they contain mean that they are not truly eco-friendly, nor are they without significant health-risks. One of the reasons they have been promoted so much is that the industry is profiting: energy-saving light-bulbs can be sold at a higher price than conventional bulbs.
However, there is still a way to save energy without having to use toxic bulbs. LED-bulbs contain no quicksilver and are just as efficient as energy-saver bulbs. So they are the better option in terms of health and safety, as well as eco-toxicity. And they last a long time.