Energy saving lamps (also known as CFL, short for Compact Fluorescent Lamp) contain small amounts of mercury vapor and so must be properly handled and disposed of when they burn out or are broken. In addition, the plastic, glass and metal contained in a light bulb can be recycled and reused for new purposes.
The most important steps to reduce exposure to a broken light bulb's mercury vapor are:
Before cleaning up the broken bulb.
- all pets must be taken out of the room.
- Ventilate the room for 5-10 minutes by opening doors and windows.
- Turn off any ventilation or air-conditioning system if there is one.
- Get everything together that you'll need to pick up the broken bulb (preferably a broom and a bag to hold the pieces).
While you are picking it up,
- be very careful to get all the broken glass and dust that is visible. Sweep it up. Do not use a vacuum cleaner.
- Place all the pieces of the bulb in a closed plastic bag.
After it's all picked up
- take it to a hardware store, lighting store or supermarket in the Ambilamp association since they have a small container to provide their customers with an additional waste collection service.
- For more information contact Ambilamp: 900.102.340 or http://www.ambilamp.es/recogida/puntos_de_recogida
In addition to energy saving light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, lamps and bulbs, and LED striplights must also be included in this process.