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Old 07-20-2016, 02:25 AM
 
Location: Honolulu
823 posts, read 1,290,059 times
Reputation: 1406

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Hopefully someone is knowledgeable about this because I searched online and couldn't put my mind at ease. I have a fluorescent ceiling bulb (actually 2) in my bathroom. It's the ring one. The inner one is 8 inches the outer one 12 inches. I just installed a new one today. I turned it on, everything was good. Then about an hour later a hear a sound like glass cracking and sure enough the inner bulb has shattered. I'm guessing the clamps holding it in place were too tight. Anyway, the surrounding enclosure was on so it caught the shattering glass. However I was exposed to the mercury fumes for a few minutes while I worked to take the enclosure off, saw the broken light, then put the enclosure back on. I went to the internet to find out what to do.

I left the enclosure on, opened the window leading outside, and left the room for about an hour to let the fumes dissipate. In an hour I went back and threw away the enclosure, the shards of glass caught by it, and what remained of the broken bulb (still clamped in place). I also threw away the unbroken bulb. There was really nothing to clean up as the enclosure caught all the glass. I also noticed some white powered but I assumed that was phosphorus, which I heard is harmless.

My question to anyone knowledgeable about this. Am I okay? Exactly how much mercury is in these circular fluorescent bulbs? I heard not much and that the gas dissipates quickly so I think I'm okay but I also know mercury is very toxic. I plan on not showering tonight to stay out of the bathroom, but tomorrow I'll shower. Yeah I know I might be paranoid but it's mercury so I'm a little worried.

 
Old 07-20-2016, 04:35 AM
 
33,161 posts, read 39,145,829 times
Reputation: 28523
I've had bulbs break over the years and never gave it much thought,just sweep up the broken glass and get on with life.however =
The Danger Lurking in Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs | Fox News
Or if you want to get more technical=
http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/qu...scent-lamp-cfl
 
Old 07-20-2016, 05:50 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 10,513,681 times
Reputation: 10324
Here is a good source on clean up of a broken fluorescent bulb

https://www.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-bro...l#instructions
 
Old 07-20-2016, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Midwest, USA
706 posts, read 397,869 times
Reputation: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeCPA View Post
Hopefully someone is knowledgeable about this because I searched online and couldn't put my mind at ease. I have a fluorescent ceiling bulb (actually 2) in my bathroom. It's the ring one. The inner one is 8 inches the outer one 12 inches. I just installed a new one today. I turned it on, everything was good. Then about an hour later a hear a sound like glass cracking and sure enough the inner bulb has shattered. I'm guessing the clamps holding it in place were too tight. Anyway, the surrounding enclosure was on so it caught the shattering glass. However I was exposed to the mercury fumes for a few minutes while I worked to take the enclosure off, saw the broken light, then put the enclosure back on. I went to the internet to find out what to do.

I left the enclosure on, opened the window leading outside, and left the room for about an hour to let the fumes dissipate. In an hour I went back and threw away the enclosure, the shards of glass caught by it, and what remained of the broken bulb (still clamped in place). I also threw away the unbroken bulb. There was really nothing to clean up as the enclosure caught all the glass. I also noticed some white powered but I assumed that was phosphorus, which I heard is harmless.

My question to anyone knowledgeable about this. Am I okay? Exactly how much mercury is in these circular fluorescent bulbs? I heard not much and that the gas dissipates quickly so I think I'm okay but I also know mercury is very toxic. I plan on not showering tonight to stay out of the bathroom, but tomorrow I'll shower. Yeah I know I might be paranoid but it's mercury so I'm a little worried.
There's not much you can do after the fact. You can take a detox bath in a couple days using sea salt, baking soda, and/or magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) as a precaution (not sure how much it will do). You could also take activated charcoal or high-quality edible clay for a few days to mop up some of the toxins in your body. Again, I'm not sure how well that will work since you're mostly concerned about inhaled toxins at this point. If you have either one, it's worth taking just as a precaution--as long as you're not currently constipated. I use capsules of activated charcoal from the health-food store when I need to use something like this. You can also just make a slurry with the AC and water or the clay and water, and just chug it down. Look online for more information about those substances before you take them.

I don't think I would worry about it too much beyond that unless you have symptoms of mercury poisoning. If you have amalgams in your mouth, you might be constantly exposing yourself to mercury every time you chew or brush your teeth--which is probably no worse than being in the presence of a broken fluorescent bulb.
 
Old 07-20-2016, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,702 posts, read 45,106,074 times
Reputation: 106820
I wouldn't worry so much unless when you get up in the middle of the middle of the night to go pee and you're glowing.

On a serious note read this information:
https://www.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl
 
Old 07-20-2016, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,749 posts, read 21,804,424 times
Reputation: 27821
Personally, I wouldn't give it a second thought.
 
Old 07-20-2016, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Midwest, USA
706 posts, read 397,869 times
Reputation: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomdove View Post
I don't think I would worry about it too much beyond that unless you have symptoms of mercury poisoning. If you have amalgams in your mouth, you might be constantly exposing yourself to mercury every time you chew or brush your teeth--which is probably no worse than being in the presence of a broken fluorescent bulb.
What I meant here was that either scenario is probably about the same--inhaling the off-gassing from amalgams and inhaling the fumes of a broken bulb. I'm not sure which is worse. I'm guessing the former since the amalgams are always there.
 
Old 07-20-2016, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
823 posts, read 1,290,059 times
Reputation: 1406
Thanks for the replies everyone. I did read how to clean it up but fortunately all the shattered glass was contained in the enclosure. I unscrewed the enclosure and threw it out, along with the broken shards of glass. The only thing that concerned me was that since I didn't know about the fumes, I was exposed for about 5 minutes while investigating the shattering sound (I was in another room). I opened the enclosure and found the tube had shattered. I then screwed it back in while I looked on the internet for what to do. Oh well, it's done, probably best to not worry about it since there's nothing I can do. Still not sure why that bulb just shattered. I'm guessing the clamps were too tight but I put it on fine and the old bulb was on there too.
 
Old 07-21-2016, 09:47 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,055 posts, read 17,191,107 times
Reputation: 30235
Since bickering has started, posts have been deleted, and much information has already been provided, this thread is closed.
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