What do I do if a fluorescent bulb breaks?


Isabella Graham   |   Member since 2011  |  10+ Answers Submitted  |  ✔ Verified

Shut off the air-conditioning or heating system. Wipe up the broken glass and powder, seal them in a container and dispose of them. Check with your local government about disposal requirements. Some communities require that trashed fluorescent bulbs ( broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center.

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Taylor Dubois   |   Member since 2005  |  10+ Answers Submitted  |  ✔ Verified

Also question is, what do you do if a fluorescent light bulb breaks?

How to clean up a broken CFL bulb

  1. Step one: Air out the area. As soon as that bulb breaks, you'll want to let the room air out for about 15 minutes.
  2. Step two: Find a sealable container.
  3. Step three: Pick up the pieces.
  4. Step four: Wipe the floor clean.
  5. Step five: Let the room air out for another few hours.
  6. Step six: Dispose of the broken bulb.
Similarly, how dangerous is a broken mercury light bulb? Although mercury is a toxic pollutant, mercury exposures from broken CFLs are not likely to harm you and your family. This is due to several factors, including the amount and duration of your exposures and the specific type of mercury that you are exposed to.


Daron Blythe   |   Member since 2008  |  10+ Answers Submitted  |  ✔ Verified

Also know, can you get mercury poisoning from a broken light bulb?

If you break a mercury thermometer or light bulb, a small amount of liquid mercury may spill out. The mercury may also evaporate into vapour. However, this small amount of mercury is extremely unlikely to cause problems for your health.


Emmanuelle Murphy   |   Member since 2009  |  10+ Answers Submitted  |  ✔ Verified

Does mercury vapor go away?

Outdoors, mercury vapors tend to go away quickly, but indoors (particularly with windows closed), mercury vapors will accumulate in the air. People can absorb metallic mercury into their bodies when they breathe the vapors.


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Related Answered Questions

Below is a list of answers to questions that have a similarity, or relationship to, the answers on "What do I do if a fluorescent bulb breaks?". This list is displayed so that you can easily and quickly access the available answers, without having to search first.

Jack Garcia   |   Member since 2012  |  ✔ Verified

Can a broken light bulb kill you?

I agree, a light bulb is unlikely to do you any harm. It is recommended that you leave a room for 5 minutes if you break an energy saving bulb, while the mercury in the air disperses. Although I doubt not doing so is likely to cause serious problems.


Elena Willson   |   Member since 2012  |  ✔ Verified

How do I remove a broken lightbulb from the socket?

First, make sure the light switch is turned off. Use gloves, eye protection and a pair of pliers to break away any remaining glass. Cut the potato in half, firmly press it against the socket and begin twisting counter-clockwise. The potato should grip the base of the bulb and turn it while the socket remains still.


Maya Walker   |   Member since 2017  |  ✔ Verified

Can mercury kill you if you touch it?

Mercury is dangerous, and you need to be cautious not to be exposed to it directly for long periods of time, but simply handling it is not going to make you drop dead. It's like cigarettes; deadly over long periods of exposure, but you aren't going to die if you walk into a smoky bar and have a drink.


Benjamin Yates   |   Member since 2008  |  ✔ Verified

What does mercury vapor smell like?

Mercury is a shiny, silvery liquid metal that can cause serious health problems. Liquid mercury vaporizes (evaporates) at room temperature causing elevated levels of mercury in indoor air. Mercury vapor is not irritating and has no odor, so people do not know when they are breathing it.


Anthony Chappell   |   Member since 2006  |  ✔ Verified

Can you vacuum a broken light bulb?

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.


Henry Jennson   |   Member since 2006  |  ✔ Verified

Are broken light bulbs dangerous?

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use dramatically less energy than incandescent bulbs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But they also contain mercury a dangerous toxin. If a CFL breaks, some of the mercury that's contained in the bulb will evaporate into the air.


Carl Ellery   |   Member since 2019  |  ✔ Verified

How long does it take for Mercury to leave your body?

It takes up to 18 years for the body to clear half of the dose of mercury from the body. Once mercury is in the body it comes out only VERY slowly.


Katelyn Gates   |   Member since 2011  |  ✔ Verified

How dangerous is a broken fluorescent tube?

Plus, mercury vapor can be emitted for weeks after a single bulb is broken. Mercury vapor can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled; it can cause neurological damage to adults, children, and fetuses. 4. Additionally, the dangers of mercury vapor released into the environment do not fade over time.


Hazel Woodley   |   Member since 2010  |  ✔ Verified

What happens if you breathe in mercury vapor?

Metallic mercury mainly causes health effects when inhaled as a vapor where it can be absorbed through the lungs. Symptoms of prolonged and/or acute exposures include: tremors. emotional changes (such as mood swings, irritability, nervousness, excessive shyness)


Bob Addis   |   Member since 2007  |  ✔ Verified

Does Home Depot take fluorescent tubes?

All Home Depot stores have a CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) recycling center. This unfortunately isn't for tubes, but if you speak to your nearest store, you can contact a manager for seeing if the store can take them.


Mandy Dickson   |   Member since 2012  |  ✔ Verified

Is breaking a fluorescent tube dangerous?

However, because fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, when a fluorescent bulb breaks, it should be handled as hazardous waste. Broken florescent bulbs can be a health hazard if not cleaned up properly.


Madelyn Vallory   |   Member since 2018  |  ✔ Verified

How dangerous is mercury vapor?

The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. The inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested.


Jayden Nanton   |   Member since 2013  |  ✔ Verified

What if I vacuumed up a broken CFL?

* If you already vacuumed a broken CFL: For a recent break (within a couple of days of the break): Air out the house for up to several hours to get rid of any remaining mercury vapor and change your vacuum cleaner bag or wipe out the dust cup.


Taylor Quinn   |   Member since 2010  |  ✔ Verified

How long does mercury vapor stay in the air?

Summary: Once broken, a compact fluorescent light bulb continuously releases mercury vapor into the air for weeks to months, and the total amount can exceed safe human exposure levels in a poorly ventilated room, according to a new study.


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