The lights in your home are perfectly harmless right? Wrong.
Or, thats to say they are not necessarily safe.
To the uninitiated a light bulbs a light bulb. But like pretty much everything electrical there are certain technologies that are much safer than others. And light bulbs are no exception.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs Emit High Levels Of UV Radiation
The above was the headline in an article published on losangeles.cbslocal.com this week. The article reports:
- that our much vaunted eco and budget friendly fluorescent light bulbs actually emit high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation, according to a new study
- researchers at Stony Brook University randomly tested the bulbs and found the rays were so strong that they could burn your skin on the cellular level.
- according to Marcia Simon, professor of dermatology at Stony Brook “The results were that you could actually initiate cell death”
What Does UV Exposure From CFLs Mean?
To put it bluntly, premature aging and cancer. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the UK already highlighted the dangers of UVs from CFLs back in 2008.
“It can also cause skin cancer in the deadliest form, and that’s melanoma,” says dermatologist Rebecca Tung.
The HPA also highlighted that many CFLs generate flicker at about 100Hz. Whilst most people are unable to perceive this flicker, there are believed to be health consequences.
This is not to mention the potential of these bulbs for introducing high frequency noise, dirty electricity, into your house wiring, or the 5 or so milligrams of mercury found in each CFL.
So whats the solution?
What is Low EMF Safe Lighting?
1. From a purely health perspective prefer old style incandescent bulbs. They are the safest. At the time of writing you can still buy them from Amazon – click here.
2. Prefer LED bulbs to CFLs. Some versions of LEDs are safer than others. Opt for high-quality, high-efficiency LED bulbs.
3. If you do use CFLs in your home prefer the encapsulated double envelope versions rather than the open curly wurly versions. CFLs can be suitable be used safely in places were you are not in close proximity, outdoors and in hallways.
For a full run down of the dangers of CFLs and my recommendations for low EMF lighting see my earlier article here.