Disposal Of Used Deuterium Lamps

Deuterium arc lamps are low-pressure gas-discharge bulbs which produce light by exciting the electrons of deuterium gas. They are generally used when consistent ultraviolet light is required. Deuterium lamps may contain hazardous chemicals which require special disposal practices.

Removing the Lamp

Deuterium lamps are used in a variety of devices and laboratory equipment. Follow the device-specific instructions for safely removing the bulb. Make sure to give it a long time to cool down first. Deuterium lamps burn so hot that they cannot be made of regular glass.

Storing the Bulbs

Place the bulbs in the box they came in, or the box containing the replacement bulbs. If you don’t still have such a box, use a small padded container, preferably leak-proof. In a pinch, a small cardboard box will do. Wrap the bulbs in paper towels, cloth padding, bubble wrap or other soft material.


Find your area’s local hazardous waste facility on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website (see Resources). Call to see what their rules are for each facility that you choose. Many will only make one pickup per year, in which case you’ll have to store your bulbs in a safe place and wait. Many require that you deliver the bulbs yourself. For more specific information on your state‘s laws and regulations regarding deuterium lamps, contact your state environmental agency, listed on the EPA’s website (see Resources).


When replacing a deuterium lamp, be very careful not to touch the clear “glass” part of the casing — fingerprint smudging can significantly impact the output of these lamps.

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