It is estimated that more than 60% of US households use fluorescent lighting systems for illuminating their homes. They are even a common light source in office buildings and shopping centers. But their widespread popularity doesn't necessarily suggest that they are healthy.
According to the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) in 2008, CFLs may pose an added health risk due to the ultraviolet and the blue light emitted by them. This radiation could aggravate symptoms of skin conditions in people making them more sensitive to light. Additionally, fluorescent lamps are known to contain Mercury as vapor inside its glass tubing. Because mercury is poisonous even small amounts of it (usually 3-5 mg per bulb) are a serious concern for waste management incinerators where these contribute to air and water pollution. Health and environmental concerns about Mercury have prompted many jurisdictions to require spent fluorescent lamps to be disposed of properly or recycled. In the US, most states have adopted and currently implement the federal Universal Waste Rule (UWR). Several states like Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Minnesota, New York, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island follow regulations that are even more stringent than the federal UWR.
Additionally, the other problem that makes fluorescent lights a health risk is their flicker. Unperceived by the naked eye, it causes serious problems like migraine, headache, eye strain, anxiety and difficulty concentrating when exposed to them for prolonged durations.
All in all, the case for fluorescent lamps as an efficient lighting source has diminished due to their health hazards and the advent of new technologies like LED which offer a much more efficient and safe alternative to CFL and their kind.