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Macy RN
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 805
Experience:  RN of 19 years.Experienced in ER, Critical Care, Surgery, Nutrition, Peds,OB/Gyn and Hospice.
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I broke a neon table lamp (about two feet of tubing) on

Customer Question

I broke a neon table lamp (about two feet of tubing) on carpeting last night. It was not turned on or hot when it happened. I cleaned it up right away, using my bare hands (only small pieces of glass broke loose, most was intact). It has some sticky white coating on the inside and some of that got on the carpet. I scrubbed the carpet with soap and water, vacummed it and threw the bag away as well as the whole lamp, cleaning rags, etc in double bagged plastic. I washed my hands and bare feet several times. Am I okay or am I in danger of too much exposure to mercury?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Macy RN replied 9 years ago.


How smart of you to know that mercury is in most neon lights.

Most people wouldn't know that.

I think you should call your doctor and have a mercury test done to see if you have a toxic amount in your body.

The chances are decreased since it was a small exposure but since you have only one kidney we don't want to take any chances.

Try not to worry but do call your doctor and get tested asap.

You can read more about it here:

Best Wishes.


Macy RN and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Thank you Macy

I will call my doctor and tell him what happened and ask about the test. Is the room safe to be in, do you think , since I cleaned it up last night? It seems that I did follow the clean up protocol pretty well, except for airing it out and using rubber gloves.

Expert:  Macy RN replied 9 years ago.

Contact your local health department, municipal waste authority or your local fire department for proper disposal in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Remember to keep the area well ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans in exterior windows running) for at least 24 hours after your successful cleanup.

This is from the EPA website:

Continue to keep pets and children out of cleanup area. If sickness occurs, seek medical attention immediately.

View information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury. For additional information on health effects, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides a Mercury Fact Sheet that also presents information on health effects related to exposures to vapors from metallic mercury.

Recommendation: If there are young children or pregnant women in the house, seek additional advice from your local or state health or state environmental agency.

I would not be in the room until it can air out for 24 hours and contact the EPA in your area.