OSHA Mercury Exposure Fact Sheet
Protecting Workers from Mercury Exposure While Crushing and Recycling Fluorescent Bulbs
This fact sheet assists employers and workers in understanding the hazards that
mercury poses and how to work safely when crushing or recycling tubular or compact
fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs should only be broken using appropriate equipment, such as drum-top crushing machines or fluorescent bulb recycling machines.
Tubular and compact fluorescent bulbs contain the hazardous metal mercury. Metallic mercury is liquid at room temperature, but can easily evaporate from liquid to a vapor. Mercury vapor is colorless and odorless. Fluorescent bulbs contain mostly mercury vapor, but can contain small amounts of liquid mercury.
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