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Is The Mercury In CFL’s Dangerous?

The one complaint that always comes up about CFL’s is their mercury content and the possibility that there is a danger from it. There’s two simple rules to use with CFL’s that will keep you completely safe. Let’s dig right in to it.

CFL bulbs do contain mercury, there’s no secret there. The mercury however is completely sealed inside the bulb and there’s no way it can escape unless the bulb is broken. Rule number one, try not to break CFL’s.

Ok, so what happens if one does break? Am I safe?

Yes, you are. Why? According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory the amount of mercury released from a broken CFL bulb in the best case scenario (meaning you opened the windows and cleaned it up) is about the same amount as in a bite of albacore tuna. Worst case (meaning you didn’t open any windows and didn’t clean it up) you would be exposed to about the same amount of mercury as in a can of tuna. Rule number two, if you break a CFL, open some windows and clean it up.

Also remember, properly recycle old CFL bulbs so that the mercury inside can be recovered, safely reused, and kept out of our environment. For recycling information, check with your local recycling department or bring the bulbs in to any major home improvement store.

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