As world leaders continue to develop long-range strategies for alternative fuels and for weaning us from our fossil fuel dependency, we are encouraged to “Go Green” on a personal level and to modify our individual energy consumption to reduce our own “carbon footprints”. Simple steps such as turning off a light in an unoccupied room, unplugging idle equipment, adjusting the thermostat a few degrees, or exchanging an incandescent lamp for a more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) can significantly reduce energy use and positively affect the environment. For some, Going Green may mean taking the pledge to participate in Cool Columbia http://cool.columbia.edu
It is generally accepted that for a given light output, CFLs use between one-fifth and one-quarter of the power of an equivalent incandescent lamp and that modern CFLs typically have a lifespan of 6,000-15,000 hours, compared to 750-1,000 hours for incandescent lamps. This means a reduced demand for electricity and less burning of fossil fuel to create that electricity. The highly touted energy savings of CFLs has prompted lawmakers around the globe to draft legislation for the eventual ban on production/sale of incandescent lamps.
Banning energy inefficient incandescent lamps is viewed as a sure fire way to reduce energy consumption, but if not done in concert with programs to educate consumers to the potential danger of improper handling and disposal of CFLs, unprepared users could be facing other dangers. CFLs, like all fluorescent lamps, are gas-discharge lamps that use electricity to excite mercury vapor in argon or neon gas, resulting in the production of short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor in the lamp to fluoresce producing visible light.
- Continued Page 2
Laboratory Initiates Expansion of Chemical Tracking System