Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Proper Disposal of Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs
Last month we talked about the efficiency of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Although these bulbs do provide energy savings, it’s not without a price to the environment. The bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury, which is an essential component in order for the bulb to be an efficient light source. If these bulbs get broken inside your home, then you should follow the recommended clean-up guidelines from the EPA.

1) Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes.

2) Scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them inside a sealed plastic bag.
·Use disposable gloves; do not use your bare hands. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them inside the plastic bag.
·Do not use a vacuum or broom on hard floors.

3) Place all clean-up materials in a second plastic bag.
·Place the first bag in the second plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
·Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.

4) If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
·First remove all the materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape can be used to pick-up small pieces and powder.
·If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected area for normal trash disposal.

Follow these clean up procedures to prevent contaminating your home. A single broken bulb is of little danger to the members of your family. However, you should attempt to limit the exposure, especially to small children. Take precautions when removing the bulbs from the package, during installation and removal of these bulbs. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base not the glass, and never forcefully twist a CFL into a light socket.

For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at

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