What to do if a compact fluorescent lightbulb gets broken

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs contain a tiny amount of mercury (just enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen) – if the lightbulb is broken, a small proportion could be released. The Health Protection agency has investigated any potential health effects of this and concluded it would not pose a health risk to anyone immediately exposed.

As well as the normal precautions you would take to prevent cuts from broken glass, you should ventilate the room. On hard surfaces, use a damp cloth to wipe the area; on soft surfaces, duct tape (or similar) can be used to pick up any powder or small pieces – both should be put in a sealed plastic bag along with the rest of the broken lamp.

Then contact your local authority or use this map to find where to dispose of the broken lamp – or contact our team of experts on 01462 490066 or at lamps@lampco.co.uk

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