Used Fluorescent Lights - The Problem

Switching to energy efficient fluorescent lighting is an important step in conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gases. For example, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use only a quarter of the energy incandescent lamps use and last up to 10 times longer.

While using energy-efficient lighting is a good environmental choice, fluorescent lights need special handling when discarded. Mercury from broken fluorescent lights in trash cans and solid waste trucks can pose a risk to families and solid waste workers. Currently, as few as 2 percent of the mercury-containing lights from Washington homes get recycled.

Each fluorescent bulb and tube contains a small amount of mercury. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that harms the brain, liver and kidneys and causes developmental disorders in children.  It persists in the environment and bio-accumulates in the food web.

fluorescent tube

Last Updated (Thursday, 12 August 2010 16:14)