Using a fluorescent tube or CFL light is becoming very common with households, corporate areas as well as commercial areas all over the world. The fact that it saves energy by 75% or more compared to an ordinary incandescent bulb is extremely attractive people who are genuinely worried about the environment. However, not many of us can deny that these innovative lighting solutions, amazing as they may be, are also prone to cracking and breaking, which is usually not considered a very happy scheme of things.
Besides being more expensive than their regular yellow counterparts, CFLs and other fluorescent lighting systems contain a certain amount of mercury which gets instantly released into the air when these lights shatter. Exposure to mercury poisoning bears many health risks that are best when avoided. This is one of the reasons why people are usually seen to panic when a mini accident as this takes place. Taking a clue or two from the experts, users facing such accidents can actually clean up the mess with no health damage at all.
Basically when the bulb / fluorescent tube breaks, users should have the area cleared instantly. If it is a household, pets, children and other members should stay away from the area. Airing the room by opening all windows and preferably switching on the ceiling fan at moderate speed is advised. Covering nose and mouth is also a good decision to stay on the safer side of things. Once the room is amply aired, the glass debris needs to be collected. Vacuuming is never advised for picking up debris for fluorescent bulbs. It is always better to use a carpet brush and plastic dust collector to pick the pieces, put it in a thick plastic / paper bag and dispose it in a safe disposal area.
The rest will be taken care of by the fluorescent tubes recycling units that are equipped to rid any remaining traces of mercury from the glass and put the material to fresh use. Basically, there is not much reason to panic on cracking or breaking a fluorescent tube or CFL light bulb considering the fact that the manufacturers of these options are really turning down on the amount of mercury that they use in the same. While the content may vary depending upon the size of the bulbs, they are never too toxic to cause worrisome results. So, unless you break a whole carton of these, all you need to take care of is the broken shards of glass and safe disposal of the same.