It is not only the mercury and the UV you need to be concerned about when it comes to CFL bulbs. They also release carcinogenic chemicals when they heat up according to a Germany study and we found they generate dirty electricity and radio frequency radiation through the air.
Some GE bulbs have a warning not to use them near marine installations as they interfere with marine wireless channels.
The mercury is a serious issue if the bulbs break but they are also poisoning the Chinese workers and levels of mercury as a form of air pollution from China are being detected as they enter the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the amount of material to produce the bulb and the amount of energy to transport them and the disposal of them (as they need to be take to a recycling toxic waste site) adds to their energy “inefficiency” when you compare them to the original incandescent bulb.
We wrote a petition to the Auditor General in Canada about the bulbs that is available here.
See also the website that has additional information (cflimpact.com) and an excellent series of videos about these bulbs making people and animals ill.
part 1: Rays of Rash http://www.youtube.com/watch?
part 2: Dirty Energy Toxic light bulb investigation http://www.youtube.com/watch?
part 3: CFLs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?