Monday, October 12, 2009


The clean up procedure for a dropped incandescent light globe: Use your fingers to pick up the bigger bits – careful, don't cut yourself – and throw them in the nearest rubbish bin. Dustbuster up the smaller fragments.

The suggested clean up for a broken environmentally friendly compact fluorescent globe:

Leave the room

Remove people and pets from the room and keep them out of the room during the clean-up process.

Avoid stepping on any broken glass.


Ventilate the room for at least 15 minutes prior to starting clean-up by opening windows and doors to the outdoors. This will ensure that mercury vapour levels are reduced before you start cleaning.

Clean-up Directions for Hard and Carpeted Surfaces

Do not use a vacuum to clean up the initial breakage, as it will spread the mercury vapour and dust throughout the area and may contaminate the vacuum.

Wear disposable gloves, if available, to avoid direct contact with mercury and to prevent cuts.

Scoop or sweep up the broken pieces and debris with two pieces of stiff paper or cardboard. Do not use a broom.

Use sticky tape, such as duct tape or masking tape, to pick up any remaining fine glass or powder.

Wipe the area with a damp paper towel, cloth or disposable wet wipe to remove any residual particles.

Place the broken glass and clean-up materials in a glass container with a tight fitting lid to further minimize the release of mercury vapour.

Carpeting - Steps to Take After the Initial Clean-up

If the rug is removable, take it outside, shake and air it out for as long as is practical.

The first time you vacuum on installed carpet after the clean-up, shut the door to the room or close off the area as much as possible and ventilate the room in which the lamp was broken by opening the windows and doors to the outside. When the vacuuming is done, remove the bag, wipe the vacuum with a damp paper towel, cloth or disposable wet wipe, and then place the vacuum bag and paper towel in a sealed plastic bag outside. In the case of a canister vacuum, wipe the canister out with a wet paper towel and dispose of the towel as outlined above. Continue to ventilate the room for 15 minutes once the vacuuming is completed.


Immediately place waste material outside of the building in a protected area away from children.

Dispose of the waste at a household hazardous waste location as soon as possible. Check with local, provincial, or territorial authorities about the requirements for recycling and for the location of household hazardous waste depots or pick-up.

Do not dispose of the waste in your household trash.

For further information on disposal, please contact Environment Canada.


Wash your hands after storing and disposing of waste.

Additional Information

Remove and install the CFL by handling only the base of the lamp to prevent any unnecessary pressure on the glass that may cause it to break.

Consider using a drop cloth when replacing a CFL to minimize the chance of breakage should the lamp fall or to protect the flooring and assist in clean-up should the bulb drop and break.

Store fluorescent lamps in containers that prevent them from breaking, such as in their original packaging.

Consider avoiding the use of CFLs in areas where the lamps may be easily broken.

Hell, it would easier to move house.


Anonymous RebeccaH said...

Should I be ashamed to say that when a CFL burned out in our house, I simply tossed it in the trash?

I understand mercury poisoning of the environment. But I was not asked if I wanted to switch to these planet-killing murder-bombs from China, and I find the instructions for disposal a bit breathless, as if they were issued by a jittery maiden aunt. Besides, has anyone considered the added pollution caused by discarded mercury-sodden wet wipes, paper towels, and plastic bags (think those glass containers will remain whole after being bulldozed into a landfill)?

Consider this my declaration of "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore."

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what chemophobe THR thinks about compact fluoros. A true dilemma for the PC greenie.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a crap post. It's obvious that Becky is trying to hide the shame of his Quadrant effort by posting double-spaced shite. Nice work, Becky.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @1:14 you must suffer greatly from your brain's ability to see conspiracy theories where none exist. Imagine making up reasons why a blogger posts on his blog! Lattecat

2:18 PM  

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