Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, some of this mercury is released as mercury vapor. The broken bulb can continue to release mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the residence.
To minimize exposure to mercury vapor, EPA recommends that residents follow the cleanup and disposal steps described below. This cleanup guidance represents the minimum actions recommended to clean up a broken CFL, and will be updated as EPA identifies more effective cleanup practices.