My relief was followed by the realization that I had no clue how to clean up the mess. Since CFL bulbs contain mercury, it occurred to me that I’d need to use some caution, so I quickly found some tips from the EPA and Energy Star (as well as a great post on Unplggd), which I’ve included below.
By the way, it’s natural to freak out a little when anything containing mercury breaks in your house — I did! — but from what I’ve read, it’s a very miniscule amount and if you follow these fairly easy steps, you and your family — crazy puppies included — should be perfectly safe.
• Have people and animals leave the room.
• Air things out for 15 minutes by opening a window or door.
• Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
• Wear gloves, and use stiff cardboard or paper to scoop up the glass shards and visible powder.
• Place cleanup materials in a sealable container like a plastic bag or glass jar with lid.
• Use stick tape to pick up any remaining fragments or powder.
• You can vacuum the carpet, but Energy Star advises not to vacuum the hard floors.
• For hard floors, use damp paper towels and wipe the area clean; dispose of them in the sealed plastic bag.
• Place all debris and cleanup supplies outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. (“Disposed of properly” varies from place to place; a quick online search should yield that info.)
• Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup supplies indoors.
• If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.
Image: via Unplggd