EPA: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Clean-up and Disposal

Let me start by stating that I have about 6 of these bulbs in the house.  When I purchased the bulbs I thought I was being frugal and wise - positioning these Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in room spaces where lights were most likely to be left on accidentally  - and where I didn't spend much time.  Backyard - basement - since I hate the light they put out.  I figured I'd tolerate the ugly light during the minimal time spent in these areas in exchange for the insurance policy they'd provide in case lights were left on - and stayed on if nobody visited the basement or backyard for a day.  

Time to reconsider the economy of this decision.  I'd heard a lot about the hazards of these bulbs - but today I serendipitously tripped over some rather disturbing information that I'd like to share with you, my dear reader.  

Lemme guess what you're thinking:  "That conspiracy theorist is at it again" - he's reading too many conspiracy websites - flying off the handle over some benign subject amplified via the resonance cavity that is the mind of a "conspiracy theorist."

Nope.  This snippet is from the Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) website:


  1. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.
    • Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your area. Some states and communities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.
  3. Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off, as practical, for several hours 

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rugs: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

  1. The next several times you vacuum the rug or carpet, shut off the H&AC system if you have one, close the doors to other rooms, and open a window or door to the outside before vacuuming. Change the vacuum bag after each use in this area.
  2. After vacuuming is completed, keep the H&AC system shut off and the window or door to the outside open, as practical, for several hours. 
...but later we find that recycling centers may not accept broken bulbs...

"Store fluorescent light bulbs in containers that prevent them from breaking, such as in their original boxes, boxes from replacement bulbs, or containers supplied by fluorescent light bulb recyclers. Recyclers generally require that the light bulbs arrive unbroken." Read more HERE

After reading this terrorizing information - right off the EPA government website - I called one of my brothers.  He told me that recently one of these CFL bulbs was arcing in their basement and was so hot - that if he'd not been home - would probably have caused a fire in his house.  Research on the internet shows this is not an uncommon experience:

Conclusion:  I'm taking them all out.

No comments:

Post a Comment