Published in the January 2008 issue of Lightrays, a publication of the American Lighting Association, by Chris Primous of ICF International. Widespread use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in lighting fixtures can save a tremendous amount of our nation’s resources. CFLs use three-quarters less energy than standard incandescent lamps, and if every American replaced just one incandescent lamp with an ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL, it would be roughly the equivalent to preventing greenhouse gas emissions of 800,000 cars. However, by design, all CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, an environmental hazard that can pose health risks upon exposure. This article examines what consumers should understand about the hazard and what steps can be taken to ensure proper disposal and recycling.