Step 12: What to do if a CFL breaks of smokes.
Thank Consumer Reports for the answer to this question.
CFLs contain small amount of mercury, a neurotoxin. If a bulb breaks, follow these instructions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Open the windows and leave the room for at least 15 minutes.
- For hard floors, don't vacuum or sweep the mess. Instead, wear disposable rubber gloves and use cardboard or stiff paper to scoop up the debris. Then clean the area with a damp paper towel.
- For rugs, use sticky tape to pick up any fragments and powder. Then vacuum the area if necessary.
- Place the debris and cleanup materials into a plastic bag and seal it. Put that bag into another plastic bag and seal that one as well.
- If your area allows it, and no other disposal or recycling options exist, place in trash outside. Wash your hands.
- After vacuuming the area for the first time, remove bag or empy and wipe bin. Put bag or debris into a plastic bag and seal it. Then put that bag into another bag and seal it. Place in the trash outside.
If your CFL has a dramatic end, turn off power to the CFL. Once the bulb has cooled, remove it. Then send an email message with a photo of the bulb and its make and model to firstname.lastname@example.org