Environmental Concerns of CFLs

While the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs is firmly in support of the switch to CFL bulbs for a more energy efficient T&T, we do note that there are guidelines to be followed with use. Please note that these bulbs should not be thrown into the regular garbage after use but that many companies do provide a safe disposal option at a cost. For households that wish to do so, there is also the LED option for alternative and energy efficient lighting at home and the office.

What Happens If a CFL Bulb Breaks?

Before Clean-Up

·         Have people leave the room (especially children)

·         Turn off air condition unit

·         Have cardboard, sticky tape, damp paper towels, sealable plastic bag

Airing Out: If a CFL breaks at home, one of the best things you can do is, air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.

During Clean-Up

·         Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.

·         Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard.

·         Use sticky tape (duct tape) to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.

·         Place the used tape in the plastic bag.

Do Not Vacuum: Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.

After Clean-Up

·  Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly.

·  Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the air conditioning system shut off for a few more hours

Be safe while being energy efficient!