Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Which CFL Bulbs Contain Mercury?

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs or CFLs typically contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 4-5mg. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500mg of mercury – an amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFLs. Mercury is an essential part of CFLs; it allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (not broken) or in use.

Most makers of light bulbs have reduced mercury in their fluorescent lighting products. Thanks to technology advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the average mercury content in CFLs has dropped at least 20% or more in the past several years. Some manufacturers have even made further reductions, dropping mercury content to 1mg per light bulb. (

Below are the bulbs that contain mercury.

Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent Bulbs:
- Linear, U-tube and Circline Fluorescent Tubes
- Ultraviolet: black lights, tanning bulbs, germicidal bulbs, bug zappers, phototherapy
- High Output Bulbs
- Cold Cathode Fluorescent Bulbs

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Bulbs:
- Metal Halide (sports stadiums)
- Mercury Vapor (farmyards, streets, general floods)
- Ceramic Metal Halide
- High Pressure Sodium (street lights, general floods)
- Low Pressure Sodium
- Mercury Short-arc Bulbs
- Neon Bulbs
- Xenon Short-arc Lamps

Fluomeric Lamps:
High-wattage lamps with a long-burning life (up to 20,000 hours) that replace incandescent systems. Ideal for high-bay lighting such as industrial ceilings, street lights, building facades, billboards and sports arenas.

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