Why use an ENERGY STAR™ qualified compact fluorescent light bulb?
While ENERGY STAR™ qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, their use creates a net reduction of mercury emissions to our environment, as compared to using incandescent lighting. Since
they use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, less power from coal-fired plants is required, resulting in reduced mercury emissions.
What is mercury?
Mercury is an element (Hg) found naturally in the environment, including the air, soil and water. It is found in many rocks including coal. When coal is burned, mercury is released into the environment. Coal-burning power plants are the largest human-caused source of mercury emissions to the air in the United States, accounting for over 40 percent of all domestic human-caused mercury emissions. Mercury in the air eventually settles into water where it can transform into methyl mercury and build up in fish.
The amount of mercury in a CFL bulb is less than 5 milligrams and is significantly smaller than a dime in size.
Why is it important to recycle CFLs?
Because mercury is a necessary component in all compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), including ENERGY STAR™ qualified light bulbs, the bulbs should be handled responsibly and be recycled. Information about recycling can be found at the following websites:
Where can I recycle a CFL in Chicago?
1. You can take used CFLs to the
household chemicals and computer recycling Facility located at 1150 N. North Branch.
2. You can also take them to any home depot. Visit www.homedepot.com to find a store near you.
What to do if a CFL bulb or fluorescent tube light bulb breaks in your home:
- Have people and pets leave the room.
- Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
- Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
- Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.