Fluorescent Bulbs Contain Mercury - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fluorescent Bulbs Contain Mercury

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OLYMPIA, Wash.- The Department of Ecology says there may be health risks involved with the increased use of energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

The bulbs like this only use about a quarter of the energy of regular bulbs, but they also contain mercury.

The mercury doesn't pose any threat when the bulbs are in use, but disposing of them or accidentally breaking one is different.

That'll release the mercury. 

The state is putting a disposal plan together right now, but until then, you need to get in contact with a local recycling company to properly dispose of the bulbs.

"Biggest problem is once you have broken them then it's very difficult to collect that mercury and whenever you have people around mercury then you have a potential for exposures," said Maria Victoria Peeler with Ecology. 

If you need to get rid of lights, the Richland Landfill has a disposal program.  You can take them out there, drop them off and they ship them off site for proper disposal.