How to safely dispose of CFL bulbs

In January, we posted a blog on the proper disposal of broken CFL’s (compact flourescent Light bulbs)  One of our caring customers has brought further information to our attention.  We have revised our suggestions, so please read this carefully as it may save you or a family member from harm.

Flourescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, some of this mercury is released as mercury vapor. The broken bulb can continue to release mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the residence. To minimize exposure to mercury vapor, EPA recommends that residents follow the cleanup and disposal steps described below:

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Do not inhale the dust from a broken bulb
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulbs.
  1. Rubber gloves
  2. dust pan and small broom
  3. garbage bag
  • Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner, as this could spread the mercury droplets
  • Place cleanup materials in a sealable container (gloves, dustpan and any other items that have come in contact with the mercury).
  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.

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