I recently ran across this really cool video detailing the entire fluorescent bulb manufacturing process. The video shows every step, from the shaping of the glass tubes to the cutting of the wires inside, as well as the insertion of all the needed components. Pretty intricate process for such a simple result!
One thing the video shows is the insertion of drops of mercury into each bulb. Mercury is required for the bulb to work, but its presence means that recycling is needed (and often required by law!). If mercury leaks into the environment via disposal into the trash the result can be significant environmental problems and health issues for those who come in contact with it.
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