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The Problem

Fluorescent lamps consume less electricity than conventional bulbs; however, mercury is the key element that makes them so efficient. Mercury is a toxin which can harm the nervous system, kidneys and liver. Today, only two percent of CFLs are recycled in the U.S., and millions of lamps are discarded. Most are crushed en route to landfills and incinerators, releasing mercury vapors that are inhaled by workers. Mercury residue in landfills forms methyl mercury gas, which is especially toxic.

Supporting Fluorescent Lamp Stewardship

In a grant project with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG), CPSC learned that nearly 50% of consumers and retailers were unaware of California’s mercury lamp disposal ban. Most consumers were unaware that the fluorescent lamps were hazardous, unaware of how to dispose of them properly, and they threw them in the trash out of convenience.

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Not sure where to recycle your CFLs? Click HERE to find a location near you.


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