How Dangerous is breathing in particles from broken fluorescent bulb?

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Posted on Wed, 10 Jun 2015 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: How Dangerous is it to have breathed in particles from a broken fluorescent "curly" light bulb?
The bulb broke while removing it.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
it is not expected to cause any harm.

Detailed Answer:
Hello

As we know that fluorescent light bulb contains mercury which can cause health hazard but the amount of mercury used in bulbs are very low and it is not expected to cause any harm.
However,you should thoroughly clean your room and ventilate it properly.
Mercury gas coming off broken CFLs can remain in surrounding for few days in a poorly ventilated room,so it is advised to ventilate the room properly.Risk is more in children.
But in your age ,it is almost safe.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Indu Kumar 17 minutes later
Hello Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
Thank you for your reply.
This happened days ago and I'm still experiencing a metallic taste in mouth and a numbing/ loss of taste. Its kind of like eating a slice of pizza when its super hot and it burns your mouth and you lose some taste and mouth is sensitive.
I'm not sure if I should go to the ER and get looked at. Any Thoughts about this and when this will pass?

doctor
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Most likely it is not related to inhalation of broken fluorescent bulb.

Detailed Answer:
Hello

Your symptoms are most likely not related to inhalation of broken fluorescent bulb.
Breakage of bulb causes release of few microgram of mercury in surrounding and it is not expected to harm adults.
Your condition need proper oral cavity examination.It may be due to aphthous ulcer in mouth.You may need local application of anaesthetic gel in mouth and vitamin B complex.
It can take 7-8 days of complete recovery.
Avoid excessive cold and hot food.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Indu Kumar

Radiologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 6727 Questions

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