by Raymond Francis Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) save energy and money. An Energy Star qualified CFL uses at least 2/3 less energy than a regular light bulb (called an incandescent) and lasts up to 10 times longer. It will save you about $30 in energy costs over its lifetime. And CFLs offer significant benefits for the environment. If every American home replaced just one incandescent with an Energy Star CFL, it would reduce greenhouse gases as much as taking nearly 800,000 cars off the road. It all sounds wonderful. You can benefit the environment and your own pocketbook at the same time, and what could be simpler than screwing in a light bulb! But using CFLs responsibly isn’t always so simple, and consumers aren’t getting the message that learning how to properly use and dispose of CFLs is crucial. Inside every CFL, there is an average of 4 mg of the deadly neurotoxin mercury. If the bulb is broken, either in your home, on its way to the garbage dump, or at the dump itself, it releases poisonous mercury into the environment. Just 1 mg of mercury is enough to contaminate a 2-acre pond of water. With more than a million CFLs being produced annually, the amount of mercury released into our air and water could be staggering. Next to plutonium, there is no more toxic naturally occurring substance on earth than mercury. A potent neurotoxin mercury is associated with many neurological and emotional disorders including Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, depression and anxiety. It disables key enzymes, causing or contributing to immune/autoimmune problems, kidney disease, hormone disorders, heart disease, cancer, chronic candidiasis and diminished antioxidant capacity. Of course CFLs aren’t the only source of environmental mercury. Mercury is found in batteries, cosmetics, diuretics, electrical devices and relays, explosives, grains, fungicides, pesticides, mining operations, paints and petroleum products. The single largest source of environmental mercury is coal-fired power plants that release mercury vapor into the air. Incinerators and landfills are additional large sources. Mercury vapor from these sources settles into oceans and rivers where it contaminates fish and our tap water. Mercury is also found in dental amalgams. Many Americans carry 500 mg of mercury per filling in their mouths. With so much mercury already contaminating our environment, it is not surprising that the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) found that about 7 million women (10% of the female population) had so much mercury in their bodies that should they become pregnant, their babies would be a risk for neurological defects. With landfills already spewing out tons of mercury into our environment, it is imperative that we keep CFLs out of our garbage. Yet even in places where it is illegal, people are tossing their used CFLs into the trash, unaware of what they are doing. If you are using CFLs, be sure to contact your local Household Hazardous Waste Program for mercury disposal information. Some stores that sell CFLs, like IKEA, will take back used bulbs. If a CFL should break in your home, it’s not the end of the world; on the other hand it’s something that needs to be addressed with care. Follow these clean-up instructions. If you want to avoid the mercury issue, switch to LED light bulbs where possible. Although at Beyond Health we often allude to the fact that virtually everyone today is in toxic overload, because toxins are for the most part invisible, it is hard to fully appreciate what this means and how important it is to support detoxification pathways in our bodies with nutritional supplements and to detoxify with exercise and saunas. The average person’s body today contains 10-15 mg of mercury. This is a toxic level, which is doing damage day in and day out! A rebounder helps to move mercury from inside to outside of your cells. High sulfur foods, like eggs, garlic, onions, cabbage and broccoli, will bind with mercury and carry it out of your body. Mercury depletes tissues of anti-oxidant enzymes, so take antioxidants, like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotenoids, selenium, and curcumin. Other helpful supplements include MSM and Thiodox. Make sure your drinking water is free of mercury with a Reverse-Osmosis home water purification system.
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