advertisement
10 August 2012

If a CFL breaks

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are green winners, but they can release a small amount of mercury if they break. Know the correct cleaning-up procedure.

0

Compact fluorescent lights are green winners, but they can release a small amount of mercury if they break. Know the correct cleaning-up procedure.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use 75% less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs and save you money in the long term: switching over to them is a no-brainer.

They do contain a small amount of mercury though, which is safely sealed inside. Unless, of course, they break – then it can vaporise, and as mercury is poisonous, you don't want to breathe it in, even a small amount.

If a CFL breaks:

  • Get everyone (pets too!) to vacate the room for about 10 minutes, and open the doors and windows to give it an airing out.
  • Then put all the broken pieces in a sealable container. Wearing disposable gloves is a good idea - put these in the sealable container too.
  • Remove any remaining fragments and dust with a damp cloth or sticky tape. Put used tape in the sealable container.
  • Don't vacuum unless you've already thoroughly cleaned up using the methods above first. Vacuuming may spread mercury-laden powder or vapor.
  • Promptly place the sealed container in the refuse bin
  • Wash your hands
  • Continue to air out the room for a few hours.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, August 2012

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.