If you have been exposed to all the recent talk about energy efficiency and green living, you have no
doubt been encouraged to use compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs instead of the standard incandescent
bulbs you have always used. In case you are wondering what type of light bulb this is, picture a light
bulb with strips that twist into a cone shape. While this bulb can help save you money, last much longer
than traditional bulbs, and help with overall energy consumption, it also presents a serious threat
to those who use them.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs are basically miniature versions of the very large fluorescent bulbs
used in schools or grocery stores. Like their large predecessors, CFLs contain mercury. While the mercury
is harmless when contained within the bulb, it can become a threat when these bulbs are accidentally
broken or improperly disposed of.
For starters, CFLs should only be placed in areas where breakage is unlikely such as in overhead bathroom
fixtures and ceiling-mounted room lighting. But if breakage does occur, it is important to remember
the following things: