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Better Times: the Webzine!

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The Nature of Design: Ecology... David W. Orr. (more...)

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I got your back!  I speak up for wildlife.
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The FreeBSD Project

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UPS Using Zap Electric Cars F... By Environmental Leader , November ....

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Peace Be With You
"Facts about Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs" cont.’d
By Obiora Embry

Four or more years ago, I researched Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs and decided this year to shed some light on this complex subject.

Material Composition

Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs contain Mercury; Phosphors (some known materials in the Phosphate mix include Manganese, Lanthanum, Yttrium, and Barium/Aluminum Oxide); petroleum—plastic is a petroleum derivative; Aluminum, Tin, Lead, Copper, Zinc, and Nickel (these elemental metals make up the metallic parts of the filament and endcap); and other materials.

Heavy Metals

The Mercury, Lead, Aluminum, Copper, Nickel, and Barium are heavy metals.  Heavy metals pose the greatest health threat to humans when we absorb them through the skin, inhale the vapors, and/or eat organisms in which they have bioaccumulated.  Bioaccumalation happens when the concentration of a substance is higher in an organism than the concentration found in the natural environment.  In humans, heavy metals tend to accumulate in the soft tissues and may take months or years to be fully removed from the body.  Since it takes so long for heavy metals to "pass through" the body, after repeated exposure a human may begin to suffer from heavy metal poisoning.

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