Find a safer lightbulb: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Radiation
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are being promoted to replace incandescent bulbs in the home. CFLs have a long life span, and they are among the most energy-efficient bulbs, using 67% less energy than incandescent bulbs. However, they are more expensive, and, like all fluorescent bulbs, they contain mercury, which is not only toxic to the environment when we dispose of them, but there is also evidence that CFLs may be toxic in your home when they are turned on. Despite governments’ intentions for citizens to change to energy-efficient lighting sources, CFLs may not be the answer
In a study published in 2012, researchers at Stony Brook University showed that significant levels of UVC and UVA were emitted from CFLs, and that the emissions appeared to originate from cracks in the phosphor coatings of the lamps, which may be the result of a design flaw in the bulbs. The study revealed that healthy human skin cells responded to the ultraviolet emissions from the CFLs as they did to ultraviolet radiation, whereas incandescent light from the same intensity had no damaging effect on the skin. The researchers concluded, “Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs. Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”5
Source: Tatsiana Mironava, Michael Hadjiargyrou, Marcia Simon, and Miriam H. Rafailovich, “The Effects of UV Emission from Compact Fluorescent Light Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes In Vitro,” Photochemistry and Photobiology 88, no. 6 (2012): 1497–1506.
Discover other safe lighting options for your home in Section TWO of Dawn’s new book.
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