Do compact fluorescent lamps contain mercury?
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 5 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use and are properly recycled. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFLs to equal that amount.

Mercury currently is an essential component of CFLs. It is the element that allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. Many manufacturers have taken significant steps in recent years to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products. In fact, the average amount of mercury in a CFL has dropped since 2008, thanks to technological advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

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1. Should I use compact fluorescent lamps?
2. Do compact fluorescent lamps contain mercury?
3. What precautions should I take when using compact fluorescent lamps in my home?
4. What should I do with a compact fluorescent lamp when it burns out?
5. How should I clean up a broken fluorescent lamp?
6. What is mercury?
7. Do compact fluorescent lamps produce a hazardous amount of ultraviolet light?
8. How can I find more information?