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So How Much Mercury is in Those Compact Fluorescents? February 11, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Definitions about product..
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Don't try this at home kids.

Don't try this at home kids.

Zoomz-n-ZOinks! Its me Dr. Z! The loopy lightbringer of the new millenium. One of the most controversial and misinformed subjects about CFL is that the contain life threatening amounts of mercury that could kill you in all sort of bizzarre ways. Nothing could be further from the truth. The amount of mercury CFL’s contain is very small and is sealed within the glass tubing. It contains most often no more than 5 milligrams, which is equivalent to the tip of a balllpoint pen. Mercury is an essential component to all fluorescents and  is essential to making it a energy efficient light source. There is nothing that can replace mercury that will allow fluorescents to work thought many manufacturers have greatly reduced the amount needed.  Zoinks! Its also good to remember that your everyday household thermometers contains up to 500 milligrams of mercury and many manual thermostats contain up to 3000 milligrams. It gonna take  100 and 600 CFLs to equal those amounts! GadzookZ!

Dr Z




So CFLS are certainly safe to use in your home and no mercury is given off if used properly. No juggling, throwing,eating , or licking! CFLs are made of glass tubing and can break if dropped or roughly handled.  Be careful when removing the lamp from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base, and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket by its tubes.  Just like when handling an Incandescent bulb or any bulb for that matter! As far as disposal you want to make sure an recycle!

See the EPA’s site on recycling






1. minhttan - February 12, 2009

Hi Dr Z,

Very nice and focused blog with useful information. I just wanted to share I have an environmental statistics blog that used to be kept far more intensely than now. If you search in the Search Bar for bulbs or mercury, you’ll probably find some stats to help make your case. Original sources are all cited so you can link to them, not me for as far as the world is concerned, I have the credibility of a “nobody”. 🙂

Keep up the great work!

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