Government Mandate: Less Pollution, More Cancer


The United States government has decided that “protecting the environment” is more important than preserving the health of Americans. The decision for which light bulbs we buy has been taken away from us, because the government was concerned about our carbon footprint. Those Eco-friendly energy efficient bulbs with the spiral, however, may cause skin cancer according to a new study reported here by

In every bulb that researchers tested they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape.

And this is the problem with government control. They think of a solution for something that may or may not be a problem, and impose it universally removing the choice of individuals. In this instance, the government is forcing everyone to be exposed to potentially harmful ultraviolet rays for no good reason. We no longer have the choice to buy bulbs which do not cause melanoma, the government decided that our health is less important than the environment. Whats worse is that there is no proof that these bulbs will improve the environment, or to what degree the eliminated carbon emissions will improve our quality of life. Therefore the government has mandated that more people will get cancer, in order to act like they are doing something positive for the environment.

Yet people react to the losses of these little freedoms as if there is nothing to worry about. Who cares if you can’t buy a certain kind of light bulb, it’s not like they are taking your kids away, right? But now we can see that there are unintended consequences to government actions; you and your children will be exposed to more dangerous ultraviolet rays, increasing the risk of cancer, and decreasing the quality of life. So it is time to stop with this “get over it, its for your own good” attitude. The government does not know what is as good for me and my family as I do. Also, as we can see, the government will not weigh risks the same way as individuals do. I would not choose to expose myself to more cancer causing things than necessary, but now I must, because the government said so.

And back to the taking away of freedoms little by little. Even if these new light bulbs didn’t cause cancer, it is not the government’s place to ban particular items of commerce. This time it is light bulbs, which may seem small to many, but think of the people who are just scraping by, that need to now spend twice as much on light bulbs, and must forgo something else. Next time it could be banning cars which are not electric or hybrid. This would vastly raise the costs of living for millions, but our carbon footprint would be less. Don’t count on the politicians to weigh the negatives for you and your family though. They don’t care how many more Americans slip below the poverty line, because they can point to their legislation reducing carbon emissions and say, “see, I’m doing something, vote for me!” And people will vote for them.

[As a side note, people often do not consider the entire picture, especially when considering energy consumption. For instance, electric cars plug into the wall, and therefore the pollution is generated at the electric plant, instead of out the tailpipe. There was a video I saw of an old man who gets out of his Prius, and keys the Hummer next to him, presumably because of the pollution it creates. But would that same man allow someone riding a bicycle to key his Prius, because the cyclist’s carbon footprint was even less than his? This man apparently decided that Prius levels of emissions were okay, but not Hummers. Furthermore, this old man does not know how many square feet the Hummer driver’s house is, what temperature they heat or cool their house to, or how many flights on jet planes they take. The Prius driver’s carbon footprint could easily have been more than the Hummer driver’s if he had a bigger house which he air conditioned, and flew down to Florida once a year to get on a cruise ship. My point is that it is easy to be on a high horse about one little segment of your “carbon footprint”, without realizing the footprint of other actions. But I digress.]

Our government needs to stop getting in the way of Americans’ pursuit of happiness. Mine doesn’t involve cancer causing light bulbs. It also doesn’t include working for the government for 4-6 months out of the year, waiting in health care lines until we die, and giving up the right to defend myself and loved ones. It’s time we all stand up and tell our government “Laissez-faire!”; leave us alone.

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