90 Miles From Tyranny : So You Broke A Fluorescent Bulb In Your House?

Friday, September 19, 2014

So You Broke A Fluorescent Bulb In Your House?

From EPA.gov - PANIC!!!!

Broken CFL

Before Cleanup

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment. 
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    • stiff paper or cardboard;
    • sticky tape;
    • damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    • a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

During Cleanup

  • DO NOT VACUUM.  Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken.  Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
  • Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.  Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard.  Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.  See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs.
  • Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup

  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors. 
  • Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  • If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

Broke an Incandescent Bulb?
Sweep it up, replace with incandescent, open refrigerator, grab a beer, sit down on couch and watch Duck Dynasty. Happy, happy happy.


  1. What is the solution that Republicans and Democrats do not want us to have. It involves Taxation without Representation. Each of the Federal Agencies must have elected officials running its office rather than a presidential bureaucracy placing puppets into office. The EPA must have an elected 'Representative' of the people. So as for all the other agencies. IE: Dept of Labor, Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Admin, Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Federal Park Service, and all the others. This will put more responsible people into office or vote them out.

  2. Use L.E.D. bulbs. Problem solved.


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