High-pressure sodium lights contain mercury and other noxious gases that are harmful, especially if not properly disposed of.
To add to jet’s answer, the bulbs are especially harmful when they are hot because that is when the mercury and other toxins are in vaporized form.
Once the bulb ruptures, it should be removed immediately–it should not be turned on again in its ruptured state.
As jet pointed out, it needs to be disposed of as hazardous waste.
addressed several times previously:
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