All Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. This includes energy efficient bulbs, known as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Mercury is a powerful neruotoxin and is one of the most toxic elements on the planet, second only to plutonium.
If one of these bulbs breaks in your home or business, the EPA’s recommended clean up procedure states that you should immediately evacuate the room and open all windows. DO NOT SWEEP OR VACUUM as this will cause more Mercury to become airborne and essentially more dangerous. Turn off central heat & A/C...
When a CFL breaks, two things happen. Mercury is released in its solid form and also as a vapor. Mercury vapor is one of the most poisonous things anyone can be exposed to. Mercury attacks the central nervous system, lungs, kidneys, liver and the skin and when inhaled as a vapor mercury goes directly into the nervous system.
Mercury has the most significant effects on children and unborn children. For this reason pregnant women and children should be kept away from a CFL break site for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours or more.
Unlike many poisons that can be flushed out of the body, mercury bioaccumulates. This means that the various tissues of the body store the toxin in increasing amounts. This is a particular concern as the use of CFLs increases.
Ecogreen May 26th, 2015