With the new regulations that remove incandescent bulbs from the shelves, we all do need to learn what to do if we break one of the new eco friendly CFLs light bulbs. Within the glass tubing, CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury. If broke, some of the mercury can be released as a vapor, and there are health risks involved with that.
When a CFL bulb breaks, make sure that both people and pets leave the room. Then air out the room for 5-10 minutes. Next, shut off the heating/air conditioning system you have in your home, and you are ready to begin cleaning up.
You will need several collection materials to clean up the broken bulb: Stiff paper or cardboard, Sticky tape (e.g., duct tape), Damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces), and Glass jar with a metal lid (such as a canning jar) or a sealable plastic bag. When doing the actual cleanup, make sure that you collect all of the broken gas and visible powder using the stiff paper or cardboard. Then use the sticky tape to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Next, you should wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes, and also place the towels in the glass jar or plastic bag. You should then place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Now, you need to check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your area. Some states and communities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. You should then continue to air out the room where the bulb was broke for several more hours.
Cleanup for this eco friendly product isn’t as easy as incandescent light bulb, but these steps will allow for your home to stay safe and ready for some more green living. Visit our Green Tips section for more ideas that you can do around your home to become more green.