View Full Version : OT: Old neon tubes - what's the hazard?

07-03-2013, 06:52 PM
I have to remove a large sign that's chock full of old neon tubes. What are the hazards associated with breaking up these tubes, apart from the glass itself?

J. R. Williams
07-03-2013, 06:57 PM
Keep it intact and sell it to antique collectors.

07-03-2013, 07:59 PM
Neon is inert. Won't hurt to breath a little. I suppose in high concentration one could be suffocated. Doubt there's a problem. But there might be money to be made as previously mentioned.

Weston Bye
07-03-2013, 08:03 PM
Some tubes may be coated on the inside with some sort of phosphor, different chemicals for different colors. Some of these may be hazardous - or not. It ain't only just neon.

07-03-2013, 08:29 PM
Clear tubes are just neon, glow orange when on. Other colors are phospors and such.

The transformer could kill you if you turn it on while mucking about with it. Very high voltage.

07-03-2013, 08:37 PM
There is also a small amount of mercury in each tube.

so you should be treating them in the same way you'd treat a standard flourescent tube when disposing.

A trip to your nearest council recycling center perhaps..


07-03-2013, 08:50 PM
Hmm, so nothing lethal in a single dose then? I have no idea what colour they were when lit. It looks like they have been left there inactive for 20 years or more.