These spirally shaped bulbs are becoming more popular to save energy. Apparently these mercury-containing CFLs were designed with no thought of harm to you, garbage collectors, or people working in landfills when they break and leech deadly compounds into the air or water.
You can read about a resident of Prospect, Maine, at the link below. Fortunately, she had read the warning label on the bulbs box and evacuated her daughter's bedroom. The EPA warned her to not clean up the bulb & mercury powder by herself. They recommended a local environmental cleanup firm, who gave her a conservative estimate of $2,000 to clean her 7 year old daughter's bedroom.
See my January 28, 2005, posting - How to Listen to The Debra Ray Show, Healthy Talk Radio. Debra Ray's radio and streaming audio health show has been bringing researched health information to listeners since 1982.