Fluorescent Ballasts Illegal in Garbage or Drains Hazardous Waste Never Throw in the Trash Fluorescent ballasts may contain toxic substances including mercury, DEHP and polychlorinated biphenals (PCBs), so they need to be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste. Otherwise, they will leach into the water and soil. Did You Know? Still Hazardous Even if PCB-Free In 1978 the EPA banned using PCBs in fluorescent ballasts. Newer ballasts are PCB-free and can be identified by a label that says “No PCB.” Manufacturers still use a known endocrine disruptor called DEHP, which is shown to cause liver, kidney, lung and reproductive issues.