Beware Of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

November 27th, 200910:04 am @ Angela Odom


c2fccdc46c98cfc6I have been out trying to buy out stores selling incandescent bulbs. Why? Because the new compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) are not good for a person with lupus. In fact, these CFL bulbs emit both UVB and UVA (ultraviolet) light, which is dangerous and can trigger melanoma skin cancer as well as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin; melanoma has higher death rates than the other types.

Today in the Jerusalem Post, the article Stay a safe distance away from screw-in fluorescent bulbs, talks about the health hazards with these bulbs:

[People] with the autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus who are very sensitive to natural ultraviolet (UV) light from both the sun and screw-in fluorescent bulbs, should not use these bulbs at all, just to be safe. However, encapsulated “single envelope” screw-in fluorescent bulbs, which resemble a mushroom and do not consist of coils, can be used freely without restriction.

I did not know there were other types, i.e., bulbs resembling mushrooms. Perhaps I will give these a go.

Apparently, the UK Health Protection Agency has studied these bulbs issuing a precautionary advice a year ago. The US Food and Drug Administration, however, has mentioned the “need for attention” to the bulbs, but as yet they have not issued an official position or adopted the British guidelines. The European Union has also “discussed” the issue in its papers, but has not made any recommendations.

With that, the Israeli Health Ministry has issued the following advisory:

The ministry concluded that just in case, people with lupus should not use or look at non-encapsulated CFLs and that everyone else who is exposed to them for more than one hour in 24 hours should switch to encapsulated ones or stay a minimum of 30 cm. away from the conventional ones.

Food for thought.