More than 100 years later, something similar to Thomas Edison’s bulb is still used every day, but that may change very soon because of the new fluorescent bulbs. They are supposed to save energy and last up to 10 times longer. However, the bulbs do cost more. It would break down to about $2.50 a bulb, where as the incandescent is about 46 cents a bulb, said Dominick D’Aurora, manager at Wal-Mart in Wheeling. He said people will save money in the long run.
The main difference between the two bulbs is the new fluorescent contains mercury and cannot be thrown in the garbage. Not many people realize that, according to a special assignment by News9’s John Paul.
Congress is considering banning the old light bulb and moving to the new fluorescents in U.S. households. Al Gore recently went before Congress and said banning the bulb should be a priority. But some folks to whom NEWS9 talked said they don’t like the idea of having to recycle the bulbs for lack of access.
The bulbs can be dangerous if the bulb breaks in your home. The Department of Energy actually recommends opening windows in your home if the new fluorescent shatters.
Dr. James Slater, a chemistry professor at Franciscan University and an expert on mercury, said 6 percent of babies born in the United States now have mercury problems. He said if the new bulbs are adopted, the percentage could rise if they aren’t disposed of properly.
At the present time, individuals can legally throw these bulbs away, but businesses are supposed to recycle them.