Energy saving CFL light bulbs? When green isn't always the healthier choice.

You may have already heard this, but now that pregnancy and babies are on your brain, it’s important to hear again. CFL light bulbs that contain mercury pose a health risk to pregnant women and children. I know most of us in the Everything Birth community try to choose eco-friendly products whenever we can. When it comes to CFLs though, I don’t know that it’s worth the health risk.  In the event that a bulb breaks while it’s still hot, the amount of mercury released into the air far exceeds the safe limit. And while working properly and not broken, researchers say they can still trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes.

Here’s a picture of a CFL bulb:

File:Compact fluorescent light bulb with GU24 connector.png

This doesn’t mean you have to go back to the energy zapping incandescent bulbs though. LED light bulbs are available. While they still have a steep price tag on them, you will know they are safe, the light is very warm and pleasant and they last a couple of decades!  This is one made by GE:

Before you completely write off the LEDs because of the cost, consider the cost of energy savings and how great it will be to not have to change your light bulb until after your little one’s graduation party…


TIP: You could always put some LEDs on your baby registry.



  1. Actually, it’s now widely known and understood that CFLs are NOT the green choice because of the mercury that gets into watersheds, streams, wetlands, drinking water supplies, etc. and for the very issues you mentioned in your blog post.

    They are an economic choice, but that is not the same as being “green.” They save someone on the electric bill – but not in an ecologically conscientious way.

    • Dawn

      Totally agree. But people still market them like they are because of how efficient they are. I just think there’s a whole lot more to being eco-friendly than saving energy. I think all of us in THIS community feel that eco-friendliness has more to do with the foot print we leave behind…

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