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What's the proper way to clean up those special light bulbs, the (I'm so gonna get this wrong) hfc or whatever they are?

My kids broke one a while back. DH didn't know they have mercury in them and just vacuumed it up. I chewed him out for it because I know you're supposed to clean them up a special way...but I have no clue what it is! Now they just broke another and I need to know how to clean it up right!


Asked by Anonymous at 8:59 PM on Mar. 8, 2011 in Home & Garden

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • "The Maine study, which shattered 65 bulbs to test air quality and clean-up methods made these recommendations: If a bulb breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum -- even on a rug -- to clean up a compact fluorescent light. Instead, while wearing rubber gloves, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the bulb broke. Use a glass jar with a screw top to contain the shards and clean-up debris.


    Answer by Bmat at 9:08 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • "“We found some very high levels (of mercury), even after we tried a number of clean-up techniques," said Mark Hyland, Maine director of the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management. During several of the experiments, for example, he said mercury in the air was more than 100 times levels "

    Answer by Bmat at 9:08 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • Google how to clean them up. Mainly ventilating the room well, not using a vacuum, and trying to get up all the particles of mercury, dispose of all debris in a glass jar.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:09 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • Oh goodie. Guess we'll be going back to regular bulbs, especially in the kids' room. Good grief. I knew we should never have bought the stupid things inthe first place. Now posting a new question...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:12 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

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