January 24, 2009
MP attacks EU and government plans to ban traditional light bulbs
MP this week clashed with a government minister over controversial
plans to ban the use of traditonal light bulbs in the UK.
in a House of Commons debate about the environment on Thursday
(January 22nd), David Heathcoat-Amory hit out at the EU and governement
plans to remove traditional light bulbs from shop shelves across
the UK and replace them with what he claims are "more expensive
and hazardous" environmentally-friendly ones instead.
Government are going to ban the use of incandescent light bulbs
before they are required to do so," he said.
the Minister aware that the alternative bulbs are not only more
expensive, but hazardous because they contain mercury, are unsuitable
for certain applications either because they come on too
slowly or give out too little light, which can again be dangerous
and totally unsuitable for things like picture lights in
galleries and so forth? Will she rethink her policy of gold-plating
the EU requirement and rethink banning the use of those bulbs
before that is necessary?"
Ruddock, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Energy
and Climate Change, responded during Thursday's debate: "I
hear what the right honourable gentleman says, but I would be
very surprised if his front bench team did not support the use
of energy-efficient bulbs in place of the inefficient ones in
every household in the country changed, 5 million tonnes of carbon
would be saved, so it is extremely important that we make that
right honourable gentleman says that they are dangerous, but there
is only a tiny amount of mercury in those bulbs and disposal facilities
are available in every local authority to get rid of them safely:
people can just throw them away and if they have an accident,
it is simple to deal with it."
added: "A few people with particular medical conditions may
be sensitive to such bulbs. We are looking into that carefully
and working on it with the Department of Health."