That's what conservative pundit Michelle Malkin calls compact fluorescents, as her website writes about Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman and her "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act", filed appropriately in her "Enviro-nitwit" category. Although we cannot find a link to TreeHugger in it, we are getting a lot of traffic and comments, so we provide herein some background and welcome our visitors.
Lots of people mention the mercury in CFLs (without acknowledging how much is put out by coal fired power plants); Our Harvard professor Helen Suh Mackintosh answers the question Is Mercury from a Broken CFL Dangerous? and we show you how to clean it up, and debunk the Hazmat cleanup urban myth. For those who complain about the quality of light from them, you might just have the wrong kind; here is a comparison. Lighting designers are doing some great things with them, and you can even recycle them easily now; here is how it is done.
Oh, and here is an update: Sylvania just introduced a new CFL with only 1.5 milligrams of mercury. The 4 or 5 milligrams in a conventional CFL are barely the size of the nib of a ballpoint pen, so 1.5 milligrams is probably not even visible, let alone a major hazard. ::CNET