WARNING: Upton's Light Bulb Ban Poses Health Risks

On Wednesday, January 5, a moment will come to fruition that the majority of Americans have been waiting for since the nightmare of the 111th Congress first crawled out of the swamp.  The Era of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mercifully comes to an end as Pelosi is forced to surrender the gavel. 

C-SPAN could have its highest viewership in history.

Also set to take the gavel at the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee will be Rep. Fred Upton (RINO-Mich.), a man the new Republican leadership is trying to pass off as a born-again conservative.

As previously reported on HUMAN EVENTS, Upton’s voting record on energy and pro-life legislation alone expose a liberal more aligned with the ideology of outgoing Speaker Pelosi than with the new incoming conservatives in Congress.

Upton’s liberal voting record is a textbook example of why Republicans were kicked to the curb.  From taxes to energy to federal government land grabs, Upton is no conservative.

Upton’s proudest energy achievement is co-authoring the ban on incandescent light bulbs with über-liberal Rep. Jane Harman (D.–Calif.).

Last week, author Mark Steyn guest-hosted for vacationing radio talk show legend Rush Limbaugh.  Steyn took the opportunity to highlight the dangers of Upton’s ban on incandescent light bulbs in favor of the replacement curly-cue light bulb.

Upton’s own home state of Michigan released through its Department of Community Health the recommended procedures for hazardous cleanup should one of these mercury-filled light bulbs shatter in your home spilling the dangerous substance onto the floor, rug or carpeting.

Note the materials recommended to clean up a small, indoor mercury spill (only recommended if the mercury spill is less than pea-sized):

• A flashlight (for locating mercury spatter on the floor or rug)
• Several zipper-seal plastic bags (to seal contaminated items)
• Some large plastic trash bags (to cover your shoes to walk in the contaminated area)
• An eyedropper or a syringe without a needle (to suck up mercury off of the floor)
• A roll of duct, masking or packaging tape (for sealing shoe covers and bags)
• A utility or similar knife (to cut out chunks of contaminated carpeting for disposal)
• Index cards, thin cardboard, stiff paper or a rubber squeegee (never explained in the cleanup instructions but they want you to have them anyway)
• Paper towels and water
• Small artist’s paintbrush (to absorb mercury beads)
• Foam type shaving cream (for pet feet and other cleanup)
• Shoe covers, newspaper to kneel on and old clothes to wear (all must be sealed in bags and disposed of properly)
• Rubber or latex gloves
• A cardboard box to carry the cleanup items to and from the spill site

The recommended home curly-cue light bulb hazardous mercury spill kit list doesn’t mention zinc powder suggested in the clean up instructions used to absorb the mercury beads that may be spilled on a hard surface.  You might want to add that one to your list of emergency items.

The State of Michigan Department of Community Health mercury spill cleanup instructions warn you to close all doors that lead to uncontaminated areas, but open any windows to the outside in the contaminated area.

There are special warnings in the report for breathing the vapor emitted by mercury that can cause “health problems such as learning and behavioral disorders, mood changes, seizures and kidney damage. This is especially true for young children and unborn babies carried by pregnant women.”

You might want to add a gas mask to your recommended home curly-cue light bulb hazardous mercury spill kit list.

The report says people should immediately flee the room after first removing contaminated clothing and shoes, sealing the items in plastic bags and leaving them behind in the contaminated room.  This would suggest a mercury spill kit in every room where curly-cue light bulbs are in use so no one has to leave the contaminated area to retrieve the spill kit should one of these toxic light bulbs shatter.

The State of Michigan also warns you to immediately move all pets out of the area.  If your pet walked through the mercury on the floor when the curly-cue light bulb snapped in two, wipe its paws with a moistened rag and foam shave cream, making sure to seal the contaminated rags in plastic bags.

The report also warns that any valuables–such as an Oriental rug spattered with mercury–must be kept in a non-inhabited area for several months before being tested to see if the item is still emitting mercury vapor.

You could also call the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to provide assistance keeping in mind  “We’re the government and we’re here to help” poses its own life-and-liberty-threatening risks.

Did we need to go to these lengths to clean up after a broken incandescent light bulb?  No.  We just swept up the debris and threw it in the garbage can when it shattered on the floor.  Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb–one of the greatest inventions since God said “Let there be light”–did not pose mercury contamination risks.

Liberal, arrogant, condescending legislators tried to fix a non-existent light bulb problem switching Mr. Edison’s bulb with a curly-cue, mercury filled replacement.  Now the government issues hazardous materials contamination procedures for breaking a light bulb.

If soon-to-be Chairman Upton is suddenly so all-fired conservative, perhaps he’ll champion a repeal of his own preposterous ban on incandescent light bulbs.