Touted as a good alternative to save energy and the environment, compact fluorescent light bulbs (the swirly ones) are polluting landfills in Canada, CTV News Toronto reports.
According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, as many as seven million of those bulbs end up in landfills, increasing their risks of emitting mercury, a metal known to affect the brain.
“The release might be instant if it’s in the form of vapor. It could (also) be released over time if it goes into a hazardous landfill and takes some time for the bulb to break down,” said Jo-Anne St. Godard, the executive director of the recycling council.
The other “green” bulb, called light-emitting diode (LED) can also be toxic for everyone. A 2012 study in the Environment, Science and Technology journal reveals that LED bulbs contain nearly nine times the safe limit of lead, making it a hazardous material under federal regulations. Lead can cause serious brain damage and delay child growth; it was used in paint and gasoline until the 1970s.