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Friday, 26 October 2012

Dangerous Energy Saving Light Bulbs Are Hazardous to Health

Today I made a shocking discovery.  I found out that "energy-saving light bulbs can trigger migraines, exacerbate skin conditions and lead to other serious health problems." (See Telegraph article).  This was further confirmed when I visited Wikipedia's article on Energy Saving Light Bulbs:   
"A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp."

"According to the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) in 2008, CFLs may pose an added health risk due to the ultraviolet and blue light emitted. This radiation could aggravate symptoms in people who already suffer skin conditions that make them exceptionally sensitive to light. The light produced by some single-envelope CFLs at distances of less than 20 cm could lead to ultraviolet exposures approaching the current workplace limit set to protect workers from skin and retinal damage."
"A 2012 study comparing cellular health effects of CFL light and incandescent light found statistically significant cell damage in cultures exposed to CFL light. Spectroscopic analysis confirmed the presence of significant UVA and UVC radiation, which the study's authors conjectured was attributable to damage in the bulbs' internal phosphor coatings. No cellular damage was observed following exposure to incandescent light of equivalent intensity."
Another website article, entitled 'CFL Bulbs Can Fry Your Skin', states:  "In addition to having a potential negative impact on your skin, these bulbs emit toxic chemicals. In fact, only months after it was found that energy saving fluorescent bulbs release carcinogenic chemicals into the air, a new study has found that these harmful chemicals are continually released from the bulbs over a period of weeks to months. In addition to releasing these cancer-causing chemicals, which are far beyond the “safe” level set by the EPA, these bulbs also release levels of mercury which also exceed the “safe” levels for humans." 

I personally cannot believe I have been using energy saving light bulbs, when I am already an eczema and migraine sufferer.  My eczema has become worse over the last few years, and is now light-sensitive.  I easily get sunburn now, and instead of healing normally, it turns into eczema.   Is having these energy saving light bulbs in your house the equivalent of sitting under a small sunbed?  Only we are exposing ourselves to them more and more every winter. 
Don't forget, with these bulbs containing Mercury, if you break the bulb it will expose you to the Mercury in the form of vapour, which can cause brain damage and seizures.  You should never throw these bulbs in household rubbish, as the electronic components, as well as the Mercury, will contaminate the ground it is dumped on.  Possibly harming animals and getting into water supplies too.  And the UK Government pays into schemes so we can be given these poisonous bulbs into our homes for free?

I suggest we boycott the energy saving light bulbs, buy the 'heavy duty' industrial use incandescent light bulbs (which are labelled "not suitable for household illumination" to comply with European Union legislation), and put them in our ceiling lights.  The only difference between these heavy duty incandescent light bulbs and the original normal use incandescent light bulbs they no longer manufacture, is that they have "slightly thicker glass envelopes and extra filament supports."  They are designed to be able to withstand shocks and extreme temperatures, as their original intended use would have been in warehouses and as garage inspection lights. 
Failing that, I would use candles.  I am all for energy saving and being good to the environment, but not at the expense of our own health.