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Do fluorescent lights contain mercury and are they safe?

Fluorescent lights (CFLs and fluorescent tubes) contain a small amount of mercury. As there is no safe level of exposure to mercury, care must be taken to ensure that materials are handled properly. The mercury from a compact fluorescent light or fluorescent tube is only released if the bulb is broken.

Follow these few simple steps to safely handle, store and transport compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and fluorescent tubes:

  • Recycle all your CFLs and fluorescent tubes to keep mercury out of landfills
  • Remove and install the CFL only by handling the base of the bulb to prevent any unnecessary pressure on the glass that could cause it to break.
  • Store and transport CFLs and fluorescent lamps in containers such as original packaging that help prevent bulbs from breaking.