Energy-Efficient Bulbs Harm Skin
Going green may be good for the environment, but the current ban on incandescent light bulbs appears to put us at risk of ultra violet rays emitted from energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Researchers at Stony Brook University say the new bulbs can do damage similar to that caused by direct sunlight. The team published their findings in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology.
Futurity.org quoted co-author Miriam Rafailovich as saying, “Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation."
The team wrote in their conclusion: "No effect on cells . . . was observed when they were exposed to incandescent light of the same intensity." Rafailovich told Futurity.org: "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.”
Manufacturers in the United States will be allowed to produce versions of incandescent bulbs down the road if the new products can be shown to be more energy efficient than the banned variety. Let's hope the manufacturers succeed.