On March 21, 2011, I submitted an article to Patch explaining why using “curly bulb” Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) is not a good idea, and why using Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs is a much better choice.
Some main points I covered were: CFLs emit UV light, which damages skin and eyes; CFLs don’t last as long as claimed; they can smoke or catch fire; they do not reach full brightness right away; they are ugly; and they contain mercury and must be recycled.
Another reason to avoid CFLs is that if you break one, you have to leave the room, and then you have a really burdensome cleanup job ahead of you! Below is a warning (verbatim) that appears in the 2012-2013 Monmouth County Recycling Directory - Page 8.
If you Break a CFL:
1. Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes so vapors can disperse.
2. Wearing disposable rubber gloves, carefully scoop up fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard. Then wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe and use sticky tape to pick up small pieces and powder. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner for the initial cleanup; that will disperse any remaining mercury vapor in the air and leave particles in the bag.)
3. Place all cleanup materials and gloves in a plastic bag and seal it. Recycle. Or if your state allows it, seal the CFL in two plastic bags and put it in the outside trash. Wash your hands.
4. The first time you vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag when you’re done cleaning (or empty and wipe the canister). Put the bag and/or vacuum debris, as well as the cleaning materials, in two sealed plastic bags and put it in the outdoor trash for normal disposal.
Enough said. LED bulbs are much cheaper now than they were in 2011. They use less energy and last much longer than CFLs. Why not use LEDs and avoid having to call out the decontamination squad if you break a CFL?