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What You Need to Know About Mercury Lightbulbs

Broken mercury lightbulb
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Mercury is found in many of the objects we encounter every day, including raw materials like coal to household objects like thermometers. It’s also a crucial component of fluorescent light bulbs. But how much do you need to know about this element? When not handled carefully, it could lead to dangerous consequences. So in this blog post, we’re going to be running through all the “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to mercury lightbulbs. 

DO use CFL’s over traditional lightbulbs. CFL’s are environmentally friendly for two primary reasons. First, they are more energy-efficient, thus reducing the demand for electricity. Second, CFL’s contain a minimal amount of mercury (about 4mg in each bulb according to, making their greenhouse emissions considerably lower than other light bulbs. 

mercury lightbulb
Image courtesy of

DON’T let them break. Remember to be extremely careful when handling any kind of mercury light bulb. Any amount released to the environment can be harmful to both your family and the environment. Should you happen to break a bulb, the EPA has a guide to help you clean up the mess both safely and thoroughly. 

DO recycle/dispose of them properly. Mercury lightbulbs contain hazardous waste and should thus be disposed of as such. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality highly recommends that residents dispose of lightbulbs at a recycling center. Michigan residents can get more information about recycling here

DO contact us if you have more questions. Whether you’re wondering about mercury lightbulbs or have a general electrical inquiry, we’d be happy to help! Give us a call at 616.643.8287. 


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