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Proper disposal of CFL's


Properly disposing of compact fluorescent light bulbs is very important.

CFL bulbs contain an extremely small amount of mercury; about 1/100 the amount in a common household thermometer. The primary source of mercury emissions in the U.S. is coal-fired power plants. An unbroken CFL does not pose a health risk. However, expended CFL's should be disposed of properly, in the same manor as other household hazardous waste products like paint, batteries and non-digital thermostats. The concern is valid and lies in concentrations of mercury accumulating in our landfills over time.

Compact fluorescent bulbs emit no mercury unless they are broken.

NOTE: A coal power plant powering an incandescent light bulb instead of a CFL will release more mercury into the air than is actually contained in a CFL itself. Although the CFL mercury issue is a concern, the net result of mercury released into our environment, given the reduced power requirements of a compact fluorescent bulb over its lifetime, remains less.

Many municipalities offer programs for safe collection of hazardous household waste.

Never incinerate a compact fluorescent light bulb as means of disposal.

What should I do if a compact fluorescent bulb breaks in my home?

  • Do take it seriously, but don't panic.
  • Do not inhale the vapor.
  • Do not use a vacuum for cleanup.
  • Sweep the pieces together with a brush or broom -- not with your hand.
  • Cleanup glass with a wet rag or towel and place the towel, along with the pieces, into a sealed plastic bag.

Proper Disposal

Dispose of expended or broken CFL's at your local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Site. If your local HHW Collection Site does not accept CFL's, check with local authorities. Or store your expended or broken CFL's in an airtight container until a disposal solution is available. With the growing popularity of CFL's it shouldn't be long before you will find a remedy. Many retail store are offer safe disposal or recycling. Find information on Local Household Hazardous Waste sites at earth911

Tell your friends about CFL's and suggest they checkout www.e3living.com.

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