VERMONT (NEWS10) — As of February 17, Vermont will become the first state to ban the sale of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. According to Eart911, CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs and can last up to six times longer. However, they contain roughly 4 milligrams of mercury per bulb on average.
Earth911 also released tips on what to do if you’re to break a CFL light bulb. They suggest that before cleaning up, everyone in the room should clear out, including pets, and let the room air out for 10 minutes by opening a window or door. All air conditioning or heating systems should be shut off.
The broken materials should be picked up using stiff paper or cardboard, sticky tape, a damp paper towel, or wet wipes (on hard surfaces), including an air-tight container. Earth911 recommends not using a vacuum for cleanup initially and only if broken shards of the glass remain after. All items should be placed in an air-tight container.
Earth911 also suggests that recycling CFLs is important due to the mercury content. You are encouraged to find the closest CFL recycling center in your community and drop off the pieces there.
After Vermont, California looks to become the next state to ban the sale of CFL light bulbs in January 2024.