Clark County School District
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department avatarEnvironmental Services


How to Clean Up

Broken Fluorescent Bulbs or Tubes

Do NOT Sweep or Vacuum


All fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury safely sealed within the glass tubing. CCSD has adopted EPA recommended clean-up and disposal methods described below.         


1.    Evacuate all occupants from the room.  Do not let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.

2.    Turn off heating & air conditioning system if possible.

3.    Open a window and leave the room for a minimum of 15 minutes.

4.    Remove jewelry and put on rubber gloves.

Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

1.    Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealable plastic bag.

2.    Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.

3.    Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place used towels in the same glass jar or plastic bag as glass fragments.

4.    Put in a pickup request for disposal at

5.    Continue ventilating the room for several hours.

6.    If clothing, bedding or other soft materials have come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury powder, place soft materials in a sealed plastic bag. DO NOT wash in washing machine, sink or by other methods.

7.    If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury powder, DO NOT spread mercury over a larger area. Wipe shoes with a damp paper towel or wet wipe and place towel or wipe into a sealed container, preferably glass.

8.       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 a sealed plastic bag.

9.       Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Air out the Room During and After Vacuuming


The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window before vacuuming.


Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.





Printable version of procedure