My recent Mother Earth News magazine had a letter to the editor about using rough-use light bulbs in the chicken shed. The writer bought a GE Rough Service Worklight 100 with ‘protective coating’ that made it ‘shatter resistant’ if broken. She installed the bulb one morning in February, and that night when she checked the coop 19 birds were dead.

The Extension Service confirmed that the birds had died because of toxic gas given off by the GE bulb, which was coated with Teflon. She tried to get GE to label their bulbs, and they offered her a settlement, with the caveat that she not talk to the media about what happened. She returned the uncashed check because she wanted to warn people about this product.

Later she found that Sylvania sells a similar Teflon-coated bulb called Rough Service Frosted. Each Sylvania bulb package has a red stick-on label: “WARNING: This product contains PTFE. When heated, it creates fumes potentially fatal to confined birds.”

Shame on GE for not caring enough to properly label its bulbs.

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