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Major light switch begins in EU

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Major light switch begins in EU

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From this Tuesday, old-style 100-watt light bulbs are banned in stores in the EU. The plan is to phase in more energy efficient kinds. The move will cut carbon dioxide emissions as part of the European Union’s wider climate change package. All old-type bulbs will have to be taken off the market by September 1, 2012.

The European Consumers’ Association BEUC welcomed the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs, but has some reservations: “The more economic light bulbs contain mercury, which is a health threat and is also dangerous for the environment. Therefore, we are asking that the accepted limits on mercury be brought down further. They are still too high. The consumer must also be warned that there is a potential risk when a bulb is broken. There will also have to be a Europe-wide collection and recycling system put in place.” New technology light bulbs, such as compact florescent lights, can save up to 80 percent of the energy used by the worst old-style lights in homes.