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What happens when you have a broken or blown light bulb?

It may seem only natural to toss that bulb in your home trash can and forget all about it but some light bulbs carry harmful toxins that can destroy the environment and pose serious health risks to animals and ourselves.

Certain CFLs, fluorescent or other bulbs contain mercury which can leak into our environment when the bulb glass breaks, leaking into water, earth and animals we eat.

Mercury is an element that can’t be destroyed and needs to be recycled responsibly.

Mercury can have toxic effects on:

– nervous systems

– immune systems

– digestive systems

– lungs and kidneys

– skin and eyes

– development of in utero children


Safe Disposal

INCANDESCENTStandard light bulbs can be tossed in your regular trash. Wrap them in plastic or paper before tossing them so, in case they break, they won’t cut you or the garbage man through the bag.

CFLCFLs contain mercury and should be recycled responsibly. Check with your city for special programs devoted to recycling CFLs. Many retailers will recycle them for you, such as Lowe’s. You can also inquire with organizations such as the American Lighting Association.

HALOGENHalogen bulbs should be disposed of in your regular trash bin. Remember to wrap them first in case they break and cause a cutting risk.

LEDLED bulbs do not contain mercury but can contain other harmful toxins such as arsenic and lead. Contact your local recycling center and ask if they accept LEDs or your municipality for details on where to dispose of them.

FLUORESCENT TUBEFluorescent tubes are simply longer and much more fragile versions of CFLs. They are prone to break easily and should be recycled in the same way as Compact Fluorescent Lights.

Remember to never toss light bulbs into your standard recycling bin with other glass. The wires and other components inside are difficult to separate out.

For More Information Or Help On Recycling, Always Check Out


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