EPA Provides New Guidance for CFL Cleanup

by | Dec 29, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today updated its guidance on how to properly clean up a broken compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Included with the guidance is a new consumer brochure with CFL recycling and cleanup tips.

CFLs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a CFL breaks, some of the mercury is released as vapor and may pose potential health risks, the EPA says. Below are the recommendations. Detailed recommendations can be found here.

1. 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 (H&AC) system, if you have one.
– Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.

2. During cleanup
– Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
– Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

3. After cleanup
– Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
– For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off.

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