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.
- The Universal Waste Rule in Missouri fact sheet (PUB2058)
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Web page
- Disposal of Fluorscent Light Ballasts (FLB) - EPA Web page
- Types of Federal Universal Waste - EPA Web page
For more information, contact the Hazardous Waste Program's Compliance and Enforcement Section at 573-751-7560.