The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released two education resources dealing with the toxicity of mercury for workers handling fluorescent light bulbs. These energy-saving bulbs contain mercury in both liquid and vapor form and when broken, the mercury exposure can be a health threat to workers.


OSHA’s mercury fact sheet details the different ways workers can be exposed to mercury and what is necessary to protect employees from being harmed by mercury when handling fluorescent light bulbs. The fact sheet also lists the necessary personal protective equipment necessary to reduce the exposure to the mercury vapors and liquid on the job.


The second OSHA resource now available is the Quick Card which provides the health consequences employees face when working around mercury and fluorescent bulbs. It also details the necessary information for properly cleaning up broken fluorescent light bulbs in the work environment to keep workers’ exposure to a minimum.


OSHA’s Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers take responsibility for ensure a safe and healthy workplace environment. Exposure to mercury in the bulbs has been known to cause health problems affecting the nervous system and can harm the unborn children of pregnant workers.


The educational resources provided by OSHA are valuable to those who work with the disposal and recycling of bulbs on a regular basis while on the job. The information is also important to those working around fluorescent bulbs as accidental breaks can expose workers to amount of mercury liquid and vapors which can still cause health complications.