Fluorescent bulbs may contain toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. Whole, unbroken lamps pose a minimal threat to human health and the environment. However, when these lamps are broken, people may be exposed to toxic levels of mercury vapor and other metals, which can be breathed in easily. Safe storage and recycling can avoid human exposure to toxic metals from fluorescent lamps. In Missouri, you may manage your fluorescent bulbs as a universal waste. Some companies offer on-site fluorescent bulb crushing, however, this is not allowed in Missouri.
- Lamp Ballasts, Fact Sheet PUB2081
- Fluorescent Lamps, Fact Sheet PUB24
- The Universal Waste Rule in Missouri, Fact Sheet PUB2058
- Household Compact Fluorescent Lamp Use and Disposal Fact Sheet PUB2273
For more information, contact the Hazardous Waste Program's Compliance and Enforcement Section at 573-751-7560.