- Fluorescent light bulbs, including energy saving compact fluorescents, contain mercury. When a bulb breaks, it releases mercury - which is toxic to the human nervous system and can poison wildlife - into the air. Fishing in many Massachusetts water bodies is restricted due to mercury contamination.
- When a light bulb breaks, projected shards of glass may injure eyes or skin.
- Store bulbs in box or case to prevent breakage. Keep out of reach of children or pets.
- Wear glasses when handling lamps.
- If you break a bulb, follow the Guidance for Cleaning Up Broken Fluorescent Light Bulbs.
- See the MassDEP Fluorescent & Mercury-Added Light Bulbs web page.
- For recycling and disposal options, Find Mercury Product Recycling Drop-Off Locations and see the list of Mercury Recycling Companies Serving Massachusetts.
- Take to a municipal recycling center, if fluorescent bulbs are accepted. A state contract for bulb collection is available for municipalities and public sector agencies, number FAC26. For a copy of the award notice, see: Comm-PASS - The Commonwealth's Procurement Access & Solicitation System (If you are not familiar with how the system works, see the Comm-PASS Resource Center.)
- Save for the next household hazardous waste collection in your community, if accepted in your program.
- Do not dispose of in the trash, especially if your community's solid waste goes to a combustion facility.