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Just smashed energy saving lightbulb..man on TV this am said evacuate room if this happens..why?

(72 Posts)
eltham Thu 08-Jan-09 17:19:08

Any ideas why the advice is to evacuate the room if you smash an energy-saving lightbulb..it's out bedroom one so it won't stay evacuated for long? Typical TV report..:

Interviewer - ..and is it true you have to evacuate the room if you smash an energy-saving lightbulb?

Expert: yes that's right

End of interview

Why? why? Why?

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 08-Jan-09 17:20:55

think they contain mercury, vile things anyway...

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 08-Jan-09 17:21:21

I have never heard that before. I would presume though that they contain something harmfull. What is in enery saving light bulbs anyway? <thick emoticon, my brain is not working today>

edam Thu 08-Jan-09 17:21:55

because they contain mercury. No idea what the official advice is about how the hell you clean it up or how long to stay out of the room though. IT's only a little bit of mercury but it's not nice stuff.

bronze Thu 08-Jan-09 17:22:15

the thing is then what?
I smashed one in my hand and just cleared it up. At the time I didn't know they contained mercury. I think I still would though I would be careful not to touch any bits. What else are you supposed to do with it. Its a minimal amount anyway

skramblenotdieting Thu 08-Jan-09 17:22:17

Scary, but needs a pince of salt

CuddlysBumLooksBigInThis Thu 08-Jan-09 17:24:21

Apparently they contain Mercury but I don't know if it's enough to poison anyone or if that's the reason. I halogen bulbs have a gas inside them so maybe thats the reason?

Don't know.

3littlefrogs Thu 08-Jan-09 17:24:24

I thought everything containing mercury was now banned???


My NHS trust has spent a fortune replacing every single sphyg. (Blood pressure machine) in the place.

skramblenotdieting Thu 08-Jan-09 17:25:05

Another article

DeborahBorr Thu 08-Jan-09 17:25:25

I smashed one when trying to force fit it and I just kept washing my hands etc. What, exactly, can you do? Hate the cold light they give off. You would have thought that "they" could have sorted this out by now.

CuddlysBumLooksBigInThis Thu 08-Jan-09 17:25:41

I am so slow at typing!

kaiserfootmuff Thu 08-Jan-09 17:25:43

i used to have a mercury maze. wonder where that is now shock

eltham Thu 08-Jan-09 17:27:03

gosh that is a bit scary..I've already vacumned it up...anyone else?

skramblenotdieting Thu 08-Jan-09 17:28:06

Good old daily mail

OneLieIn Thu 08-Jan-09 17:28:23

I used to play with mercury as a child!

skramblenotdieting Thu 08-Jan-09 17:30:23

Defras advice


How should I deal with a broken CFL?

Although the accidental breakage of a lamp is most unlikely to cause any health problems, it’s good practice to minimise any unnecessary exposure to mercury, as well as risk of cuts from glass fragments.

Vacate the room and ventilate it for at least 15 minutes. Do not use a vacuum cleaner, but clean up using rubber gloves and aim to avoid creating and inhaling airborne dust. Sweep up all particles and glass fragments and place in a plastic bag. Wipe the area with a damp cloth, then add that to the bag and seal it. Mercury is hazardous and the bag should not be disposed of in the bin. All local councils have an obligation to make arrangements for the disposal of household hazardous waste at a civic amenity site or household waste recycling centre. The National Household Hazardous Waste Forum runs a website with details of these centres for chemicals, but which also applies to other hazardous wastes (www.chem-away.org.uk/). Alternatively contact your local council direct.

DeborahBorr Thu 08-Jan-09 17:31:35

Now you have to throw away the hoover bag eltham

SaltireOShanter Thu 08-Jan-09 17:34:10

Well I'd never heard of this and the Dses smashed one yesterday, when they decided to move a light that was stil plugged in and it fell over smashing the bulb. I just swept it up, and put it in a bag intot eh wheelie bin!

eltham Thu 08-Jan-09 17:45:08

Thanks for this...Have scrubbed my hands and actually bagged up the entire hoover; vented the bedroom.
Now I feel a bit funny in my throat. (gulp) What happens if you've breathed it in..??

eltham Thu 08-Jan-09 17:47:58

Isn't the mecury enclosed in another small capsule for safety? I noticed that at the top of the bulbs there's a point with a black tip...That bit wasn't smashed..it was just further on down the bulb at the end. How do these bulbs work?

edam Thu 08-Jan-09 18:50:07

God only knows - you'd think the authorities and companies would actually tell us what the hell to do with these products that they are FORCING us to buy.

The blasted buggering EU has shut down the entire UK barometer industry, made hospitals waste billions of pounds disposing of thermometers and sphygs because mercury's so dangerous you couldn't possibly let anyone near any device with mercury in it... yet they are ordering us to buy mercury in lightbulbs. Wankers.

3littlefrogs Thu 08-Jan-09 22:22:30

My sentiments exactly Edam. Couldn't have put it better myself.

3littlefrogs Thu 08-Jan-09 22:26:03

And the most infuriating thing is that none of the other EU countries give a toss about EU legislation. We are the only fools who take it seriously.

chipmonkey Thu 08-Jan-09 22:38:19

Er, sorry but I'm sitting here in Ireland with a house full of eco-bulbs so that's at least one other EU country!

3littlefrogs Thu 08-Jan-09 22:44:00

Oops - sorry. Apologies to Ireland.

I have been through some very bad experiences with Brussels, so it is a bit of a sore point with me.

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