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How To Dispose of Low Energy Light Bulbs Safely.

Updated on October 6, 2012

IMPORTANT - Health and Safety Warning.

Energy Saving, or Low Energy light bulbs are in most of our homes, but a lot of people don’t realise that they contain mercury, a very poisonous substance.

This means you need to be very careful if you happen to break one.

Below are the guidelines for how to deal with broken energy saving light bulbs.

  1. Evacuate the room for at least 15 minutes, take care not to step on any shards of glass.
  2. DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the mess as it will spread mercury particles all around the house.
  3. Put on RUBBER GLOVES and sweep the debris into a dustpan.
  4. Place the remains in a plastic bag and seal it.
  5. DO NOT put the plastic bag in a household bin
  6. Place it in a municipal recycling bin for batteries which also contain mercury, or take to a suitable council disposal facility.
  • Try not to inhale dust from the broken bulb.
  • If you suspect you have been exposed to mercury, even if it was not recent, talk to a GP.
  • LED lights are a safe, green alternative.


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