Investing in CFLs lately but you’ve heard all the mercury hype? Worried about how you’d clean up a broken bulb? Here are some tips from 7Gen Blog on the matter.
- First, don’t worry about buying or using CFLs. The mercury they contain can’t be released during normal operation, and until new technologies like LED bulbs come along to replace them they’ll remain the best lighting choice in a healthy, sustainable home.
- Always screw CFLs into and out of fixtures using the base and not the glass portion of the bulb. Never force a bulb into an unwilling socket.
- When you replace a CFL, consider using a disposable drop cloth underneath the immediate area, which can make an accident easier to clean up.
- Always dispose of burned-out CFLs via your local hazardous waste program.
- If you break a CFL, don’t panic! Proper clean up will keep everyone safe. Shut off any forced air heating or cooling that’s on, open windows to ventilate the room, and clear the area for 15 minutes. This will dissipate mercury vapors and dramatically lower exposure risks.
- Using disposable rubber gloves, carefully place the larger pieces in a screw-top glass jar. Use stiff paper like index cards to gently gather smaller bits. Try not to stir up any dust.
- Use a sticky tape like duct tape to “blot” up the smaller pieces and powder from the bulb. Place this tape in the jar as well. Follow with a damp paper towel wipe-down. Put the towel in the jar, too.
- Seal the jar, remove it from your home, and take it to your local hazardous waste depot next time you go.
- If you feel the area needs vacuuming, do so now, but throw out the bag when you’re done.
- Keep the room ventilated for a few hours and during the next several times you vacuum the area.
The post has more information on CFLs, so check it out.