Compact fluorescent lights contain toxic mercury, which can leach into water systems if not disposed of properly. (Brett Ruskin/CBC )
Canadian lawmakers who have encouraged consumers to buy compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for years, will soon set out rules for how to dispose of them.
CFLs last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and use less electricity. But, inside each twisty tube is toxic mercury powder that can pollute huge quantities of water.
Mercury is so potent, that the amount found in a single household medical thermometer — 0.5 grams — could contaminate more than seven Olympic-sized swimming pools, containing 22.5 million litres of water.