The Doctors: How To Clean Up A Broken CFL Light Bulb


The Doctors: Glowing Health Secrets

In celebration of the show’s Glowing Health Secrets theme, the entire set glowed in the dark. Audience members waved glow sticks to welcome The Doctors onstage.

The Drs: Energy Saving Light Bulbs

The Drs: Disposing Of CFLs

You can't just throw those new CFL bulbs in the trash. Learn how to properly dispose of them.


Did you know the new Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs actually contain mercury? Dr. Travis Stork said there’s a special way you are supposed to dispose of them. You aren’t supposed to throw them in the garbage, because mercury is toxic and can have negative effects on children, pregnant women, and all adults.

What To Do If You Break A CFL Light Bulb

A first warning: Pregnant women should leave the area and let someone else clean up a broken CFL. Use disposable gloves to avoid touching the chemicals with bare hands. You can use cardboard to help you clean up the broken glass on a hardwood or tile floor. Follow behind that with a wet cloth.

For big pieces, cardboard works OK on big pieces. You don’t want to vacuum or sweep the carpet. Instead, use duct tape to pick up the glass. Put everything into a gallon size plastic bag, including the gloves and cardboard you used. Double bag the contents and dispose of it in the trash.


Unbroken CFL light bulbs can be recycled at a hardware store or local toxic waste & recycling center.

Halogen Light Bulbs Cause Fire

Dr. Lisa Masterson said a 300-watt Halogen Light Bulb can reach temperatures of 970 degrees. That seems excessively hot. She cautioned against putting Halogen Light Bulbs by curtains or anything else that is combustible.

Dr. Jim Sears said some college dorms have banned floor lamps with Halogen Bulbs over safety concerns.

The Drs: Are Glow Sticks Toxic?

Today’s first question is about glow sticks, which you typically see around the necks of Trick or Treaters at Halloween or in dance clubs. Dr. Travis Stork said they’re completely safe when used according to the instructions.

Inside is a glass tube containing Hydrogen Peroxide, Diphenyl Oxalate, and a Fluorescent Dye. These chemicals are non-toxic, but you’ll want to rinse or wash any area of your body that is exposed to a broken glow stick. Don’t let kids chew or drink glow sticks.

The Doctors: LED Mouthpieces For Kids

Dr. Andrew Ordon, Dr. Jim Sears and Dr. Lisa Masterson modeled LED Mouthpieces that light up and glow. They are generally safe, but they contain small batteries. If your child bites through the mouthpiece, throw it away.

Battery leakage is also a risk from these damaged Mouthpieces. Keep an eye out for FDA approved plastic. Dr. Jim said not to buy these mouthpieces online. Instead, get them at a store, where you can inspect them before making a purchase.

Dr. Jim also warned against staring at the flashing LED mouthpiece too long, because the lights aren’t great for your eyes.

The Doctors: Glow In The Dark Cocktails

Dr. Andrew Ordon said it’s safe to drink Glow In The Dark Cocktails. He explained that a black light makes vodka glow. Vitamin B12, found in energy drinks, also glows in the dark. Other bar ingredients that might glow include Quinine Water or Tonic Water. Quinine has medicinal properties and is currently used to treat autoimmune disease like Lupus.

Barium Enema For Glowing Intestines

A viewer asked how a Barium Enema makes your intestines glow. Dr. Travis Stork explained that Barium Sulfate appears opaque on X-rays, allowing doctors to see the organs. Barium Enemas are falling out of favor with the rise of CT scans and scopes. A tube inserted into the rectum fills the colon with Barium Sulfate.

Dr. Travis Stork showed X-rays to explain how doctors use this to learn about what is going on with patients. Afterwards, your body will safely void the Barium during a bowel movement.


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