Cleaning Up Broken Lamps
Everyone who works with mercury lamps eventually breaks
one. In the event of breakage, please follow these steps to minimize the
risk of mercury exposure.
Cleaning Up a Small Number of Lamps
- Sweep up debris with a small broom or a whisk broom.
Sweep gently to avoid suspending phosphor powders in the air.
- DO NOT VACUUM broken lamp debris.
The exhaust from the vacuum will disperse mercury into the air. If you
must vacuum the debris, only vacuum after sweeping up as much debris
as possible and wiping up the powder with a wet paper towel.
- Place the debris in an airtight container (a sealable
bag, glass jar, or pail with a tight fitting lid).
- Seal the container and label it, Universal Waste
– Lamp(s), or Waste Lamp(s), or Used Lamp(s). In addition, it
is recommended that you write on the label “accidentally broken”.
- Try to disperse the mercury vapor by opening windows
- Dispose of the contained debris using the same
guidelines for recycling intact waste mercury
Cleaning Up a Large Number of Lamps
If a large number of lamps break, there is a high potential
for exposure to airborne mercury. Immediately close off the area with
the broken lamps and call a local hazardous materials response agency,
usually the local fire department .
For questions about content,
please contact the Regional Assistance Officers at (800) 72-TOXIC
(800-728-6942) or go to http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/ContactDtsc/Regulatory-Assistance-Officers.cfm