Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

S/o of my own question...If you clean up a broken CFL bulb improperly, what can happen?

DH didn't clean up either one properly - one from linoleum and one from carpet. The linoleum one was mainly on a towel - he picked it up and threw the whole works away, then wiped up the rest of the surfaces to pick up any glass shards (he didn't know they have mercury in them). Now this second one, only a small peice broke out of the bottom, near where it screws in. He picked it up off the carpet, said the broken peices were all picked up, and I told him to throw it away outside (our big trash is in the garage, unattatched to the house). He wants to know where in these bulbs the mercury is, also.


Asked by Anonymous at 9:16 PM on Mar. 8, 2011 in Health

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • "Fluorescent 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. To minimize exposure to mercury
    vapor, EPA recommends that residents follow cleanup and disposal steps. A cleanup overview is described
    below; please visit for more information."

    Answer by Bmat at 9:53 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • 1. Before cleanup
    a. Have people and pets leave the room.
    b. Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor
    c. Shut off the central forced air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
    d. Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.
    2. During cleanup
    a. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
    b. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
    3. After cleanup
    a. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or
    protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb
    fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
    b. For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the
    H&AC system shut off.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:54 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • Sorry for just give you quotes. It appears as though the mercury is in the glass part, which is what you were asking. So if the glass is broken, follow the above clean up recommendations, which are clearer than those I posted in the other question. Good luck!

    Answer by Bmat at 9:56 PM on Mar. 8, 2011

  • Good luck! I hate those bulbs!

    Answer by tripletmom28 at 2:25 PM on Mar. 9, 2011