Energy-saving lamp fell down - you must pay attention


In the household it happens again and again that something slips out of hand. This is often annoying - but in the case of energy-saving lamps it is also dangerous. What is the risk, and how to proceed properly when an energy-saving lamp falls down, read this post.

Toxic mercury

In addition to some other toxic substances, energy-saving lamps also contain toxic mercury. This substance is very hazardous to health, so you have to take care when falling down an energy-saving lamp with care and caution.

Broken lamp when switched off

If the lamp is off, if it falls down and breaks, the potential for danger is slightly lower.

However, mercury can also be absorbed through the skin, so care should be taken when disposing of the remains. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and take extra precautions:

  • make the best of plastic bags "overcoat" for the shoes
  • ventilate the room as a precaution
  • Do not use a broom to sweep, but rather a piece of old cardboard, which you then throw away with
  • do not use a vacuum cleaner

If possible, store all parts of the broken energy-saving lamp in an airtight container because of the possible exposure to mercury. You can dispose of broken energy-saving lamps only in recycling depots and at appropriate collection points.

Disposal of household waste is prohibited and is also severely punished (environmental hazard if mercury reaches landfills and contaminates soil and groundwater there). The penalties are draconian: even for a single energy-saving lamp in the household waste you have to expect up to 400 EUR fine, with more than one lamp it can be up to 1,000 EUR.

Broken lamp when switched on

There is a high risk here! Mercury vapors of metallic mercury are not only highly toxic, they also penetrate very quickly into the body and can then attach to all organs.

These vapors occur only when the lamp has been switched on when breaking (or bursting), then the mercury in the lamp is in a gaseous state and is immediately distributed in the room air.

Here the room must be strongly ventilated for at least 15 minutes and must not be entered, Thus, the high concentration in the room air is first reduced to a less dangerous level. Only then can you make the disposal of the broken lamp.

Tips & Tricks

Because of the high health hazards and the high amount of toxic ingredients in energy-saving lamps, it definitely pays to replace energy-saving lamps with modern LEDs.


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