Broken fluorescent lamp

What should I do if a mercury lamp breaks?

Fluorescent light lamps contains a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent lamp 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. For more information visit epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl

CLEANUP AND DISPOSAL OVERVIEW

The most important steps to reduce exposure to mercury vapor from a broken lamp are:

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 environment.
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. 

 

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