According to Inhabitat.com, compact fluorescent light bulbs are a very serious health hazard:
Mercury from energy production and broken CFL bulbs seeps into soil and water and usually ends up in the bodies of fish. Animals or people who then eat those fish take on their toxicity, which can cause severe disabilities from stunted neurological development. It has also been speculated that high mercury rates can cause cancer, though we’ll need a few more years of increasing exposure to know for sure.
So, what are we to do? How can we deal with this terrible problem?
For these reasons many governments and retailers are offering CFL recycling programs that safely handle the mercury instead of letting it build up in landfills. But just because recycling systems are in place doesn’t mean people use them. Most of our dumps are filled with recyclable or reusable items in the first place. I find it very unlikely that a person who throws away an empty water bottle will suddenly decide to drive to Home Depot to recycle an old CFL. People are lazy — and that’s something you can count on!
Come on, people! Don’t be lazy. Send your light bulbs to Washington.