Broken CFL

Guidelines on Broken CFL

Broken CFL.

Guidelines and Tips when you break CFL bulb.

 

Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFL bulbs contain  very small amount of mercury. There will not be any contamination or pollutant as long as the bulb is intact, and because of this diminutive amount, the mercury leak will not either cause a dangerous impact to human health nor the environment in case of broken CFL . However since it contains toxic components – no matter how little it is - it would be wise to take extra precautions to eliminate the mercury spread. EPA has issued following  guidelines about necessary step to take when you break a CFL bulb :

 

 

 

First things to do when a fluorescent bulb is broken

Immediately have people and pets leave the room, turn off the air heating /air conditioning system, then open the window  for 15 minutes to air out the room.

 

 Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

 

·         Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.

 

·         Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass pieces and powder.

 

·         Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.

 

·         Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

 

Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug:

 

·         Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.

 

·         Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.

 

·         If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.

 

·         Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

 

Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding, etc.:

 

·         If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.

 

·         You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.

 

·         If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

 

 Disposal of Clean-up Materials

 

·         Immediately place all clean-up materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.

 

·         Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.

 

·         Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states do not allow such trash disposal. Instead, they require that broken and unbroken mercury-containing bulbs be taken to a local recycling center.

 

 

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

 

·         The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window before vacuuming.

 

·         Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.

 

 

Although containing Mercury,  Compact Fluorescent Bulbs are still considered to be the most eco-friendly light bulbs today due to its energy-saving capability, as according to Worldwide Institute each CFL can prevents 1.300 pounds or nearly 600 kilograms of CO2 emission and 20 pounds of sulfur dioxide from being tossed into the atmosphere.


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2 Responses to “Broken CFL.”

  • be a mad dog says:

    Thank you. Nice site you got here. Have some extra links to point to which have more info?

  • Guadalupe Scheu says:

    Great piece! If only I had authored it. Thanks for posting it all the same.
    Bunn Coffee Makers

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