Mercury in CFLs

Just checked out the tips at the sidebar right now and the one about mercury in CFLs grabbed my attention. The Green Guide answered a query expressing concern about the mercury content of CFLs and this is what they had to say:

The amount of mercury in CFLs is relatively small, approximately 5 milligrams (mg), which is roughly enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For comparison, older mercury-based thermometers contained about 500 mg, or 1/10th of a teaspoon.

The post goes on to provide tips on handling mercury spills from broken bulbs as well as a link to Earth 911 where you can find recycling facilities for all used bulbs.
This question actually reminds me of an incident in second grade when the boys in my class were horsing around in the classroom and one of them accidentally broke a fluorescent tube with a ruler. This caused some alarm, mainly due to the shards and whispers that the substances in a broken bulb can cause blindness. None of us knew anything about the other dangers it posed, not even the teacher. Disposing of broken bulbs should normally be done carefully and make sure they’re properly bagged, but the maintenance man simply swept it up and dumped it in the trash can.

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