Tips On How To Safely Clean Broken CFL Bulbs

Lighting Basics

Side Effects of Mercury

Did you know that CFL bulbs should be carefully handled when broken? CFL bulbs contain mercury in vapor form and, when inhaled, can pose some serious health risks. According to medical studies, mercury poisoning, especially constant exposure to low dose of mercury, can affect fertility in women. Mercury affects the nervous system and can even cause one to be suicidal. Constant exposure may lead to personality changes, speech disorders, abnormal walking or gait. Tremors or shaking is another side effect. The kidneys can be affected by mercury exposure. The lungs are especially susceptible to mercury in vapor form.

Although each CFL bulb contains only a small amount of mercury vapor, repeated exposure will lead to an increased health risk. It is important to know that you must not unnecessarily expose yourself to a broken CFL bulb as there might still be remnants of the mercury in the CFL bulb debris. That is why one must exercise precaution at all times.

Safety Tips When Handling Broken CFL Bulbs

Secure the Area

As soon as a CFL bulb is broken, make sure that you transfer your pets and your children away from the area. If the CFL bulb is broken indoors, tell you children to stay away from the area for up to 20 minutes. The important thing is for you children and pets to avoid inhaling the mercury vapor. Infants, most especially, are susceptible. Start cleaning only after you've allowed the mercury vapor to dissipate. Do not remove the CFL debris right away.

Handle With Care

Do not attempt to touch the broken CFL debris with your hands. There are CFL Clean Up kits available but if you don’t have one, just try to secure a pair of gloves, duct tape, scotch tape, wet wipes, two plastic bags and a jar.

Pick Up the Pieces

Use rubber gloves when handling the debris. Use a stiff board to pick up the larger pieces. Try to pick up the smaller pieces using duct tape. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to avoid contamination. Place the larger pieces in a separate plastic bag then seal using scotch tape. Place the smaller pieces in a separate plastic bag. Use wet wipes to wipe the tiny particles that you may have missed by using duct tape. Once done, place the wet wipes in the second plastic bag and start sealing it. Seal both plastic containers in a jar. You can label the jar.

Store Outdoors

If the garbage collector hasn't taken out the trash yet, just make sure that you store the jar outside your house. Also make sure that it is stored in a place that is far from reach of pets and children.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.