In terms of the actual lightbulb, yes, CFLs have more mercury since incandescent bulbs don’t have any. However, incandescent bulbs have a higher mercury footprint, as power plants need to burn more energy to generate the electricity for an incandescent. By using CFL bulbs with lower mercury content and then disposing of them properly (don’t throw them away, in other words), CFLs will ultimately produce less mercury than incandescent bulbs.
Incandescent lightbulbs contain a lower amount of mercury than CFLS, but have a higher mercury footprint due to coal-fired power plants. Between 2007 and 2008, the amount of mercury in CFLs dropped 20%, and now only contain .4 mg of mercury. Mercury is not released when intact or in use, they contain mercury to be an efficient light source.
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