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Low-energy light bulbs can cause rashes and swelling to sensitive skin, warn experts

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#1

The phasing out of traditional light bulbs could cause misery for thousands who have light-sensitive skin disorders, medical experts warned yesterday.

Dr Robert Sarkany said some low-energy bulbs gave vulnerable people painful rashes and swelling.

He backed calls by patient groups for the Government to give medical exemptions for those at risk.

The warning comes as British shops start to clear their shelves of traditional bulbs, which are being replaced by more energy-efficient versions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Large retailers have already stopped selling conventional 100-watt bulbs, the most popular size.

They will be banned from September along with frosted 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs, followed by most others before 2012.

Shoppers will then be able to buy only halogen bulbs - which resemble normal bulbs but use 70 per cent of the energy - or compact fluorescent ones, which use just 30 per cent of the energy.

Although low-energy bulbs cut household electricity bills, the move has proved unpopular with shoppers.

Halogens are more expensive - costing around £1.99 each - while critics say the fluorescent type have an unattractive harsh light and take up to a minute to warm up to full strength.

But medical charities say the light from low-energy bulbs triggers migraines, epilepsy and rashes.

Dr Sarkany, a photodermatologist at St John's Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas' Hospital, in London, said he has treated patients for rashes caused by exposure to low-energy lamps.

Some suffer from lupus, a disease of the immune system that can cause skin to become hypersensitive to sunlight.

But Dr Sarkany said lupus sufferers were also reporting an adverse reaction to fluorescent lights.

He added: 'Patients with lupus feel strongly about this. They feel their skin deteriorates with fluorescent lights and have taken this issue to Parliament.'

A spokesman for Skin Care Campaign said: 'The main concern is over the intensity of the ultraviolet light from low-energy bulbs.

'Particularly for people with skin conditions such as lupus, eczema and psoriasis, it causes a lot of problem with burning.

'There are also more unusual conditions where people are completely light-sensitive.

'At the moment, they can use a traditional incandescent light bulb because the ultraviolet light is so dim.

'But low-energy fluorescent lights are a problem.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161899/Low-energy-light-bulbs-cause-rashes-swelling-sensitive-skin-warn-experts.html
 
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#2
They also emit mercury vapor :mad:
 

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#3

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#4
i think the key here is that they're talking about thousands, in an entire country.


might as well ban flowers, for the tens of thousands with hayfever.


These people have a special medical condition, so yes - medical facilities should use traditional bulbs, but if they're trying to shift back off the power savers for everyone its not worth it.
 

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#5
Consumers should decide what bulbs they use, no one else. This short-sighted environmental takeover BS is getting old.
 

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#6
Consumers should decide what bulbs they use, no one else. This short-sighted environmental takeover BS is getting old.
around here we run into blackouts and power lines/transformers melting in the summer, so a push to lower power consumption at a country wide level makes a ton of sense. that doesnt mean i think a total ban is in order, just restrictions on the regular globes to reduce the amount of them used.
 

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#7
You know what would work a whole lot better? A ban on running ACs. Or building more power plants. Or upgrading the power infrastructure. In 5 years from now, if you don't do one or all of the above but still change to CFLs, the grid problems will remain.

Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL only displaces all the power consumption to the factories that make them (namely in Southeast Asia). It costs a whole lot more to make a CFL than it does an incandescent bulb by every measure. Incandescent is just glass with bits of metal attached to it--both easily recycleable.
 
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#8
Haven't these lights that set these people off been in every store, office, and medical facility around for decades? And it's not like the halogens are so horribly expensive. They last longer than the incandescent. They ignore that and just go on and on about the horrors of fluorescent bulbs which are already everywhere.
 
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#9
Last updated at 1:41 PM on 14th March 2009;)

Maybe alots changed in three years or the bulbs in the UK suck.
The compact florescent bulb admit almost no UV A or B[which you need anyway] and they pulse at something like 1khz due to the digital ballast[so it's fine for epileptics,plus the phosphorous coating smooths the pulse ]and start instantly now. They also admit more blue light which is known to help with seasonal depression,plants and pets.
I filled my house with them when I bought it three years ago and have replaced only one in the play room which was most likely due to my kids:ohwell: I hate incandescent bulbs if you can't tell.
 
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#10
Well a lot of these issues were fix with new halogen bulbs. The real issue is hospitals and medical facilities only update stuff like this every 20 to 30 years so they are still using the old shop style halogen bulbs. If they were using compact florescent, stuff like warming up to full power and harsh light would not have been an issue.

I have no comment on the skill condition people. I have psoriasis and use compact florescent bulbs daily with no realistic change in my bad skin. So unless the people with light sensitive skin issues are sun bathing with these lights, I don't think a 1 to 2 hour dose every now and again is going to cause an issue. Whats next, we change the millions of stores, malls, work facilities, etc. back to old bulbs as well?
 
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#11
Hey these new bulbs are actually an environmental nightmare, they contain mercury and if broken[which happens] mercury is spread into the area , it should be evacuated due to the vapour is very toxic,
they should never have been introduced, i wont use them in my home, f%&k that!!![xcuse french]

disgusting idea.
 
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#12
There are so many environmental issues with the current generation low energy bulbs and now this as well.

People who have bad eye sight will have an even harder time seeing anything due to the bad spectral performance of these types of bulbs. Besides that the color tonality is so odd that they are unusable as work lighting when you work with drawings and color.

The ban on traditional bulbs is probably promted by some companies trying to create a bigger market for themselves, I sincerely doubt that they perform any better than traditional bulbs LCA-wise. There are so many toxins involved in the production and in the end product, it makes the stuff used to produce traditional bulbs look harmless by comparison.
 
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#13
Hey these new bulbs are actually an environmental nightmare, they contain mercury and if broken[which happens] mercury is spread into the area , it should be evacuated due to the vapour is very toxic,
they should never have been introduced, i wont use them in my home, f%&k that!!![xcuse french]

disgusting idea.
The computer you are using to post this most likely has a small amount of mercury in it. So do most lithium based batteries.
 
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#14
Last edited:
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#15
The ban on traditional bulbs is probably promted by some companies trying to create a bigger market for themselves
That might be true. It's all about business.





That would be awesome if there was a technology that could capture and preserve daylight. Then sunlight could be used anytime anywhere. Natural illumination ftw. But I dunno maybe some jerks love to masturbate under the neon loneliness.
 
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#16
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#17
There are so many environmental issues with the current generation low energy bulbs and now this as well.

People who have bad eye sight will have an even harder time seeing anything due to the bad spectral performance of these types of bulbs. Besides that the color tonality is so odd that they are unusable as work lighting when you work with drawings and color.

The ban on traditional bulbs is probably promted by some companies trying to create a bigger market for themselves, I sincerely doubt that they perform any better than traditional bulbs LCA-wise. There are so many toxins involved in the production and in the end product, it makes the stuff used to produce traditional bulbs look harmless by comparison.
Actually, the amount of mercury that could possibly reach the environment from consumers from CFB is nothing compared to the mercury released from the coal we burn to power the nation. Something to the tune of less than 0.1%. The reduction of energy used by old incandecents, results in us need to burn less coal to keep up with power demand and drastically reduces the amount of mercury the power plants put out. The net result is actually a huge benefit to the environment, not a negative.

And light tone can be corrected by changing the color of the surrounding plastic. Something the bulb companies overlooked as they simply used the same color and material as incandescent bulbs. CF has a different wavelength and is closer to a bluish UV color, so that needs to be accounted for and i don't think it has been thus far.
 
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#18


"Experts" here do not give scientific explanation of these effects.

I say it's BS.
Incandescent bulb emits exactly the same type of light as energy efficient one PLUS a lot more.
 
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#20
There are so many environmental issues with the current generation low energy bulbs and now this as well.

People who have bad eye sight will have an even harder time seeing anything due to the bad spectral performance of these types of bulbs. Besides that the color tonality is so odd that they are unusable as work lighting when you work with drawings and color.

The ban on traditional bulbs is probably promted by some companies trying to create a bigger market for themselves, I sincerely doubt that they perform any better than traditional bulbs LCA-wise. There are so many toxins involved in the production and in the end product, it makes the stuff used to produce traditional bulbs look harmless by comparison.
Bingo. That's the part they're not telling you about. It's like they don't tell you that the production of the hybrid battery cells and the disposal of them costs more and does more harm to the environment than if the consumer had used a regular car for the same amount of time.

Damn right, and not just bulbs everything else to, if I want to build a house with an asbestos roof, lead painted walls and use CFC's the i'll be damned if anyone will stop me :rolleyes: :laugh:
Nice analogy, too bad it's the wrong way. Going to CFL's is like going TO lead paint from latex.



I personally can't stand CFL's. They just SUCK! I hate the light they give off. More like lack of light. They're not bright enough, and they burn out twice as fast as my old incandescent bulbs. Not to mention the CFL's run so "hot" that half the time the bulbs body is melted and discolored.

Damn I hate CFL's! :mad:
 
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#21
i love my cfl's, buying them exclusively. I don't pay an electricity bill so it's not money savings, but actually using less energy that drives me. the $6 price and light output is not even a consideration, as they both are more than acceptable imho.


yeah, and cfl's can last up to 15-20x longer. are you saying it takes 15x the energy to make a cfl as an incandescent? because if not than your point is conveniently overlooking that fact.
I am willing to bet it does not take 15x the energy or resources, and therefore IS more energy efficient.

this is just another thing for people that like to complain to complain about. like having a problem with those that care about global "temperature change" or pollution, there is always someone who thinks it costs too much money to be responsible, and so will complain about it every step of the way. the real problem for them is they are being told what is the better option. that's what they don't like. well neither do i - but i can separate that fact from reality, and still make the proper choice on my own accord.
 
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#22
I personally can't stand CFL's. They just SUCK! I hate the light they give off. More like lack of light. They're not bright enough, and they burn out twice as fast as my old incandescent bulbs. Not to mention the CFL's run so "hot" that half the time the bulbs body is melted and discolored.
:eek: wow,your homes electric most be F'ed up bad! I can unscrew mine by hand after running all day, I use mostly 26w bulbs. My brother had a problem with them burning out too due to poor wiring.
 
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#23
Actually, the amount of mercury that could possibly reach the environment from consumers from CFB is nothing compared to the mercury released from the coal we burn to power the nation. Something to the tune of less than 0.1%. The reduction of energy used by old incandecents, results in us need to burn less coal to keep up with power demand and drastically reduces the amount of mercury the power plants put out. The net result is actually a huge benefit to the environment, not a negative.

And light tone can be corrected by changing the color of the surrounding plastic. Something the bulb companies overlooked as they simply used the same color and material as incandescent bulbs. CF has a different wavelength and is closer to a bluish UV color, so that needs to be accounted for and i don't think it has been thus far.
Usually the mercury found in coal is scrubbed so no emission there, besides that is not the point. The human toxicity index for a CFL light bulbs is 6-9 times greater than that of a traditional bulb. Also for the production of each CFL bulb approximately 6-12 times as much energy is used, I saw an example of the cheapest CFLs are over 25 times that of traditional and contain a lot more mercury and other toxic chemicals.

Osram's own estimation is somewhat biased but highlights a lot of problems.
http://www.osram.de/_global/pdf/Con...amps/Life_Cycle_Assessment_of_Illuminants.pdf

Some of the independent reviews of illumination sources can be found on Google, some are better than others, Osram for example use their own estimates on bulb life-span and the life-span of CFLs is grossly overestimated due to the use scenario used to gather the numbers.

I do not think that anyone can claim to have the definitive answer when it comes to these types of bulbs.
 
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#24
"Get the new energy efficient light bulbs, saves power while emitting mercury vapor for all your cancerous needs" :slap::roll:
 
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#25
Usually the mercury found in coal is scrubbed so no emission there, besides that is not the point.
so we have clean coal now? no mercury at all? no lead? yeah right. the energy used to power an incandescent bulb(from coal) emits more chemicals than that cfl breaking.
so it's ok to put MORE chemicals in the atmosphere, as long as there isn't a minuscule amount in your home?