Nationwide (800) 443-0870

Raleigh - Charlotte Area (919) 264-2134

Nashville Area (615) 426-6303

Broken CFL Bulbs

Broken CFL bulbs often cause immediate panic from exposure to the mercury contained in them and the possible adverse health effects. So how dangerous really is a broken CFL bulb?

According to Clean Air Expert John Roberts “Any level of mercury exposure carries potential health concerns, but due to the small amount of mercury and short duration of exposure, a broken CFL is not likely to present any significant risk to you or your family.”

"You're talking under 5 milligrams of mercury," he said. "That figure won’t mean much to people, so to put it in perspective: if you think about the mercury thermometers that I grew up with, it's less than 1 percent of the amount of mercury that was in one of those thermometers."

Although the average 4 milligrams of mercury per bulb is already a fairly small amount, some CFL manufacturers are reducing mercury content even further. The average mercury content in CFLs dropped at least 20 percent in recent years, and some manufacturers have reduced mercury to as little as 1.4 to 2.5 milligrams per light bulb.

Earth911.com offers the following tips for cleaning up a broken CFL Bulb:

  1. Before Cleanup
    Have people and pets leave the room. Air out the room for five to ten minutes by opening a window or a door.
    Turn off the forced heating and air system in the room if you have one.
    Use stiff paper or cardboard, sticky tape, damp paper towels or wet wipes (for hard surfaces) or a resealable plastic bag
  2. During Cleanup
    Do Not Vacuum - Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken, as doing so may spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
    Thoroughly scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
    Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.
    Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
  3. After Cleanup
    Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including any vacuum cleaner bags used, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
    If weather and other conditions allow, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating and air conditioning system shut off for several hours (a study conducted by the journal Science of The Total Environment found that the critical exposure period passes after four hours).

Have any other questions about the benefits of LED over all other types of lighting? Contact Victory Lights and we can help you out!

Return to Blog

Score a Victory for your business with new LED lighting from Victory Lights!

LED Lighting from Victory Lights can reduce your electric bill by up to 50% while also dramatically increasing lighting quality in your facility! Contact the LED lighting experts at Victory Lights today.

Get Your Free Lighting Consultation

Latest Reviews

Victory Lights was the best choice we could have made for retro fitting with LED in the office building.  We received insightful consultation from their project leader, and are very appreciative of the high level of service they provided from start to finish.  The new lights that they helped us select are excellent quality, and look wonderful in the offices we lease.  We are excited about the beautiful, clean, and quiet light as well as the reduced energy/maintenance cost that we are experiencing.  It was a pleasure doing business with Victory Lights.

Lee N., Managing Partner, New Boy Properties

Since we have changed all our light bulbs in the common area of this 3 story, 169 apartment retirement community, we have not changed one single light bulb.

In the long haul, it saved us an enormous amount of money and time.

Art R., Executive Director, Independence Village of Olde Raleigh

Chad has been very helpful with our LED retrofit project. He and his staff have not only been informative but have made all our projects hassle free.

Marc M., Chief Building Engineer, Healthcare Trust of America

The LED retro fit was a huge task, due to ceilings being 18' with a finished drywall ceiling.  Victory went to great efforts in finding the right lights resulting the least amount of remodel/tear out of old lights,while ensuring the accurate lighting needed for our jewelry showroom.  We are delighted to report that our year-to-date utility bill is down 23%.  Victory was wonderful to work with and the staff was amazing.  

Anfesa M., Anfesa's Jewelers

Victory Lights was instrumental in guiding us through the process of retrofitting the existing 20,000 sf Building with LED lighting to reduce our energy cost and maintenance cost.  This included working to ensure we received the best possible rebate available from Progress Energy.  Chad was extremely knowledgeable and patient through the entire process.

Wilson F., Treasurer, Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Victory Lights, Inc

Victory Lights, Inc. is a provider of LED lighting solutions for commercial, industrial, medical, retail and places of worship. Our corporate offices are located in Raleigh and Nashville; we offer LED products and turnkey solutions anywhere in the continental United States.

Nationwide - (800) 443-0870

595 Old Drug Store Rd.
Suite 101
Garner, NC 27529 (map)

North Carolina - (919) 264-2134

725 Cool Springs Blvd.
Suite 600
Franklin, TN 37067 (map)

Tennessee - (615) 426-6303

  • mastercard
  • visa
  • discover
  • amex
  • cash
  • check

Normal Business Hours:
Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm (EST)