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Why You Should Stop Using CFL Lightbulbs Immediately
By ROGER ADLER
While compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs were once seen as energy savers, their reputation is now overstated as LED bulbs have surpassed them in terms of color, energy consumption, safety, and pricing. In fact, CFL bulbs come with a host of potential hazards that will convince you to ditch them.
CFL bulbs have been proven to emit potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation, leading to symptoms like dizziness and eyestrain and possibly even more serious conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Their UVA and UVC rays can also eventually cause cancer, so CFLs are not appropriate for close-up use and should be fully enclosed in glass.
Typical CFL bulbs contain 4 milligrams of non-visible mercury, which is only a concern when the bulb breaks. They must be discarded in a hazardous waste facility to avoid contamination, and if one does break, never vacuum it as it will disperse the mercury into the air, and make sure to discard any clothing that comes in contact with it.
Some consider the light produced by CFL bulbs to be harsh, and they need several minutes to warm up when turned on. Cold weather can result in dimmer light, making their outdoor use limited, and they should not be housed in closed fixtures like recessed lighting.