The new energy efficient light bulbs – called compact fluorescent lights (CFL) – are a danger to the public. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emergency procedures must be followed in the event a light bulb breaks, due to the vapors it will release. But, according to new research, that may be the least of our worries.
Experts speak out about the threat of CFLs
The official EPA broken bulb clean-up procedure attests to the dangers of this new lighting. It states that people and pets must leave the room, open windows to air out the room, and also shut off the central heating or air-conditioning system.
The next advice is to collect the broken bulb pieces and for this you need on hand stiff cardboard, sticky tape, damp paper towels or wet wipes, a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag. It is advised not to vacuum until all other cleanup steps have been done as vacuuming can spread the mercury containing powder or vapour.
You are told, when done, to place debris and cleanup materials along with vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container. Some local government require fluorescent bulbs to be taken to a recycling plant. Does this sound like a safe product to have in our homes?
The unknown threats of compact fluorescent bulbs
Money saving, compact fluorescent light bulbs emit high levels of ultraviolet radiation, according to a new study. Research at Long Island’s Stony Brook University found that the bulbs emit rays so strong that they can actually burn the skin and skin cells.
“The results were that you could actually initiate cell death”, said Marcia Simon, a Professor of Dermatology.
Exposure to the bulbs could lead to premature aging and skin cancer, according to doctors. “It can also cause skin cancer in the deadliest form, and that’s melanoma,” said Dr. Rebecca Tung.
“When there is something in your house, you don’t perceive any danger, you wouldn’t get that close to an x-ray in a doctor’s office,” explained Miriam Rafallovich, Professor of Materials Science at Stony Brook.
So now it turns out these bulbs are also dangerous when they don’t break. The protective phosphor coating inside the glass, which gives the glass its milky white look, can be cracked. The UV rays then can escape to cause damage to those near enough to it. The Stony Brook University study found that all the CFL light bulbs they studied had cracks and imperfect phosphor coating.
Prolonged exposure at distances of 8 inches or less can cause both skin and retinal damage.
Now for the newly discovered dangers of ‘energy efficient’ lighting
There are reports from other countries that point to other problems with using energy efficient light bulbs. The latest claims were made by Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Halfa University in Israel. What he found is that the bluer light that CFLs emitted closely mimicked daylight.
This disrupts the body’s production of the hormone melatonin more that the older filament bulbs, which give off a yellowed light. His warning is that these bulbs can result in higher breast cancer rates when used late at night. This is precisely when lights are turned on and left on.
German scientists claim that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins are released when these ‘environmentally-friendly’ lights are switched on, including phenol, naphthalene, and styrene.
Naphthalene is a volatile white crystalline compound produced by the distillation of coal tar. It is used in mothballs. Styrene is a petroleum by-product. These along with mercury are known to cause cancer.
Peter Braun, who carried out the test at the Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, said, “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”
The side effects of energy efficient light bulbs
The reported (negative) health effects of energy efficient light bulbs include: dizziness, cluster headaches, migraines, seizures, fatigue, inability to concentrate and anxiety.
Very little research has been done before these bulbs became available. The FDA reports that in addition to visible light (UVA), these bulbs also emit UVB and infrared radiation.
Measurements by an independent French research centre showed that these lamps (CFLs) generate powerful electromagnetic fields (EMF) close to the source, up to 1 meter distance. The Flemish Institute for Technological Research have confirmed these results.
There are indications that EMFs emitted by CFLs can travel along the electrical wiring producing “dirty electricity’ throughout the house. A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine stated that this dirty electricity can lead to a 5-fould increase in the risk of cancer. This research was found to be true by a Canadian researcher by the name of Magda Havas.
How can United States health authorities allow CFLs to be sold?
Many countries have been able to spot all kind of dangers to this type of lighting including reporting that the radiation directly can attack the immune system and damage the skin enough so it can’t properly produce vitamin D3.
These light bulbs and lamps have the potential to cause and aggravate many diseases and at the same time damage the environment more profoundly than any old fashion light bulb.
Needless to say, stocking up on ‘old’ light bulbs – that are being phased out – may be a great idea for our health.
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About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.