There is a big trend today for building green. This is a good thing. Unfortunately "green" is a word that means many things. A building may have good insulation and use energy saving appliances, but be inundated with electromagnetic frequencies. This is not a good thing. Also, the insulation may contain unhealthy components. You may have off-gassing from new carpets. So, just because a building calls itself green, does not mean it is healthy. There are many things that you need to look at, including air quality and electromagnetic frequencies. If you have concerns, contact a Building Biologist in your area.
Compact Flourescent Lights (CFLs)
Everyone is talking about the energy saving qualities of compact flourescent lights. Yes, it is true that they will save you money, but they are not healthy! Do not put them in areas of heavy use, especially if the lamp is close to the body. One of the reasons they aren't healthy is that they contain mercury and must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Another reason is that the electromagnetic fields are much higher than from an incandescent bulb. It is unhealthy to expose your body to these fields on an ongoing basis.
If you break a CFL bulb:
*open windows for 15 minutes or more to release any vapours
*use disposable rubber gloves, don't pick fragments up with bare hands
*don't vacuum or use a broom to sweep up the fragments
*use a stiff piece of paper or cardboard to sweep up the fragments
*place the paper and fragments in a sealed plastic bag
*wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel and place in bag
*dispose as with hazardous waste (in B.C. call 1-800-667-4321)
The healthy alternative is LED lights. They are even more energy efficient, last even longer, and have no mercury.