Friday, June 15, 2012

Light bulb scare

Need a little motivation to clean your kitchen (or any room in your house for that matter?)

Just read a super scary email informing you about the hazards of breaking an energy saving light bulb. 
See really gross pictures in email about a man losing his foot because he stepped on a piece of the broken light bulb.
It literally ate through his foot people!

After reading that email I was really glad that none of ours have ever broke...

Until TODAY when one rolled out of the cupboard and broke into a million pieces. 

Thankfully the kids weren't in the kitchen but I was in there barefoot
I totally had visions of my skin melting away but I carefully escaped any glass and got on my computer to google how to clean it up.   

Here's the details in case you are ever in a similar situation. 
  • Leave the room and ventilate for 15 minutes or more
  • While wearing rubber gloves, scoop up glass shards and debris from the bulb with a stiff piece of cardboard
  • Avoid creating or inhaling dust from the broken bulb
  • Don't use a vacuum or broom to clean up after a broken bulb on hard surfaces
  • Place the remains in a plastic bag
  • Wipe up the immediate area with a damp paper towel put it in the bag as well and seal it
  • If you need to use a vacuum on carpet, place the filter bag in a plastic bag as well
  • Wash your hands after finishing the clean up
  • Check with local authorities on procedures for disposal. Mercury is a hazardous household waste and can't be thrown out with ordinary household trash in some areas
The breaking of the light bulb did have one perk.
It forced me to clean (and I mean clean) my kitchen.
I went over every surface multiple times to make sure I got every last shard of glass.
I think I was ultra paranoid because Madelyn is walking and crawling and eating every weird thing around.

Have you guys heard of these light bulbs being so dangerous (when they break)?


Erika said...

never heard of that...I am scared of them now !:)

Andrea said...

I had know idea these are so dangerous when broken, thankfully we've never had a broken one yet and I say that because it may just happen with kids around but now I'm kinda freaked out about them.

Lauren Richards said...

If that's what happens when one breaks then I'd rather not save energy! I want to save my foot more than the environment! YIKES!

JLVerde said...

I had to "snopes" this and while they didn't officially debunk it, they are doubtful about the truth of the images actually being of a foot that was "poisoned" by the mercury in the lightbulf.

It is true that there is mercury in those lightbulbs and you should be extra careful when cleaning up a broken one but the amount of mercury in them does not pose a serious threat to folks in the household.

(personally, I hate the new bulbs because they aren't bright enough for me--I need MORE light!)

Jenna. said...

Eek! I had no idea. Thanks so much for the heads up.