We described in detail all the features of energy-saving lamps, mentioning as a disadvantage the mercury content in a glass bulb, albeit in low concentrations. As we remember, mercury belongs to the first class of hazard substances, and in large quantities it can be deadly to humans. A glass flask is a fragile thing, you can break it for various reasons. In this case, mercury vapor from the fluorescent lamp will enter the room. What to do?
Don’t panic and get ready! There is no mortal danger from one lamp. For comparison, one energy-saving lamp contains about 2.5-3 milligrams of mercury, while a conventional thermometer contains about two grams, that is, almost 800 times more. A person will feel a deterioration in health if the entire volume of mercury contained in the lamp enters the body, and this requires very close contact.
In addition, if the lamp breaks when it was turned off, then there is no danger of negative influence on the person. There is no free mercury in the lamp, there is “amalgam” – a metal alloy containing this dangerous substance. Under normal conditions, when turned off, the alloy will not allow mercury vapor to spread through the room.
Therefore, there is certainly no reason for panic, but certain actions must be taken in order not to risk health..
So, the order of actions if an energy-saving lamp breaks in the room:
- Leave the room and open wide all windows for ventilation. There should be no one in the room for 10-15 minutes, be sure to bring out your pets.
- Put on rubber gloves, a gauze bandage or respirator, take a bag and a rag. You can also use tape or a damp sponge, wet wipes to collect the debris. Wearing gloves, very carefully collect all the fragments in a bag using available means and close it tightly.
Important! Do not use a vacuum cleaner and a broom! The vacuum cleaner will be a pity to throw away, and, in addition, it, like a broom, will help spread mercury vapor around the room.
- The bag contains not only the fragments themselves, but also all the items with which you collected them, do not forget from this.
- Do not rush to remove the hazardous waste bag far away. You should also put a damp cloth in it, with which you will have to carefully wipe the place where the lamp fell..
Important! To treat the room in which the energy-saving lamp has broken, you can use any household chlorine-containing preparations, for example, the well-known “Whiteness”. They help to carry out demercurization, that is, to neutralize mercury, as well as solutions of soda, potassium permanganate and iodine. The solution is applied to the surface where the lamp has broken for 6-8 hours, and then washed off with warm water and soap.
- We collect in a bag all the items that came into contact with the fragments and the contaminated surface during cleaning, and close. It is impossible, we strongly repeat, it is impossible to throw away neither the energy-saving lamps themselves, nor the broken fragments, nor the items with which you put them into a regular trash can.
Where, then, should they be thrown away? By law – to the management company of your house. But if there is none, then to the hazardous waste collection point. On the territory of some large enterprises and office centers there are also special containers for hazardous waste, you can search.
- You almost forgot about the clothes in which you had to work. It needs to be disposed of, but if it is a pity to throw it away, then professional cleaning is required..
Worse if the lamp is broken on the carpet. We’ll have to take it off, even if it’s carpet, and take it out into the street. Putting an oilcloth or an old blanket under the carpet or a piece of carpet to collect the fragments, gently knock it out from the back and leave it to air, preferably for a couple of days. The blanket or oilcloth with fragments and remnants of phosphor is returned to the bag and for disposal, do not leave them outside, do not endanger others.
If the lamp breaks on the sofa, for example, we repeat all the actions, we carry out demercurization of the soft surface. To get rid of all fears, you can invite specialists and conduct an analysis for the mercury content. In general, if the substances from the energy-saving lamp could be absorbed into the wood, got on the fabric base, other absorbent materials, experts advise nevertheless to use professional cleaning services.
And finally, advice – pay attention to LED lamps, because they are safer than fluorescent ones, and in terms of energy efficiency they surpass them..