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Fluorescent bulb burst. Should I be worried?

RustRust __BANNED USERS regular
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
One of the two fluorescent bulbs in my dorm room started dying. Since I couldn't get it replaced until Monday and because the flickering was making me feel dizzy, I turned off the light and tried to remove the offending bulb - long story short, I screwed up and the thing burst.

I cleaned up the glass but I heard these things release mercury, and though the bulb is now dead it's still hooked up. If I turn the light on, will I be poisoning myself? Should I be worried just from the thing bursting in the first place?

Rust on

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Eh. It's certainly not good for you, but a level of mercury that low isn't going to kill you.

    You're not pregnant, are you? No very small children live with you?

    Thanatos on
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    RustRust __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Dorm room, so no. And I'm keeping a window open.

    The burst bulb was, I guess, fairly bad (and I ran a vacuum cleaner, which apparently made it worse), but I'm more worried about the hazards of keeping the light on for the other bulb. The busted one is still hooked up, so will it just consistently release mercury vapor if I flick the switch?

    Rust on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    uh, tell your RA?

    i mean, they usually know someone who can handle it. also, dont touch it if you arent sure. i mean, the bulb is broken, so it's not like if you wanted light you could have some.

    cooljammer00 on
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    Sir Headless VIISir Headless VII Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Rust wrote: »
    I'm more worried about the hazards of keeping the light on for the other bulb. The busted one is still hooked up, so will it just consistently release mercury vapor if I flick the switch?

    No, thats not how it works. There is just a little bit of mercury vapor in there that is exited by an electrical charge. You will be fine but you'll probably want to get that light bulb out of there just so you don't have a broken one stuck into the socket. But if you really concerned, as you seem to be, This Website gives you a procedure to follow. From where you are now it's pretty much just throw it out in a double bag.

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    RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    the ends are still in the sides of the fixture?

    does the old potato/broken bulb thins work for this?

    Raneados on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I would let maintenance pull the rest of it out.

    As for health risks, I know some circus performers. One was sword swallowing with a bulb like this, and it burst while deep inside. He's alive, but he had to go to the hospitol right away. As long as the bulb wasn't inside you, you should be good.

    Improvolone on
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    oberon567oberon567 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Man, the overhype about mercury in fluorescent bulbs is ridiculous.

    Yes, they have mercury in them (Both fluorescent and CFLs). Should you worry about it? Hell no.

    Mercury is a heavy metal. It accumulates in your body, and basically stays there forever. It does not do anything to you until mercury levels in your body are high enough to start fucking shit up from the inside out. You could break 100 fluorescents and not get that amount. Go ask someone ~40 and they will tell you about holding mercury in their hands in Chemistry class in high school (Keep in mind that mercury is absorbed through the skin) and they're fine.

    What you should really worry about is the fact that fluorescent light bulbs shatter into millions of razor sharp slivers, and cut the hell out of you. That is a much bigger concern than the mercury.

    oberon567 on
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