In the UK a leading Ophthalmologist and a leading dermatologist will not allow CFL lights in their homes Because… CFLs emit ultraviolet light and cause damage. First, eyes...
… Instead of a glowing filament, low-energy bulbs have argon and mercury vapour within a spiral-shaped tube. When the gas gets heated, it produces ultraviolet light. This stimulates a fluorescent coating painted on the inside of the tube. As this coating absorbs energy, it emits light.
The concern is about some of the light rays emitted in high levels by these bulbs, says Professor Marshall. Recent scientific evidence shows these specific rays are particularly damaging to human eyes and skin.
Light is made up of a spectrum of different coloured rays of light, which have different wavelengths. As he explains: 'Light is a form of radiation. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy it contains.
'The most damaging part of the spectrum is the short wavelength light at the indigo/violet end of blue.
'Incandescent bulbs did not cause problems, but these low-energy lamps emit high peaks of blue and ultraviolet light at this wavelength.'
In the same way ultraviolet rays in sunlight can cause premature aging in our skin if we get sunburnt, there is a similar situation in the eye, says Professor Marshall.
'You shed skin every five days, but your retina is with you for life.'
The retina at the back of the eye is vital for sight - it's made up of light-sensitive cells that trigger nerve impulses that pass via the optic nerve to the brain, where visual images are formed.
Sustained exposure to ultraviolet light wavelengths from CFLs increases the risk of two seriously debilitating eye conditions, macular degeneration and cataracts, the professor claims.
With macular degeneration, the macula, which is at the centre of the retina, becomes damaged with age. A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye. These are two of the leading causes of blindness in Britain.
… [See the article.]
There is something we can do…
Professor Moseley [the eye professor] says that the 'single-envelope' bulbs - the low-energy bulbs where the coiled parts are visible - tend to emit the highest levels of ultraviolet light.
He believes those with a 'double' envelope - where a pearly dome like an old- fashioned lightbulb covers the coiled parts - tend to block out UV light 'much better'.
Dermatologist Professor Hawk acknowledges the efforts to improve the bulbs by providing clouded glass domes.
'But we are not sure how improved they are,' he says.
No questions allowed! This is the EU.
'The EU was trying to be green by introducing CFLs, but they did not think of the health consequences. They are very reluctant to reverse its policies.'
Meanwhile, an EU spokes- person told the Mail that 'based on scientific evidence, an EU scientific committee in 2008 and the UK's Health Protection Agency came to the conclusion that in normal use compact fluorescent lamps do not pose risks to the general public'.
However, Professor Moseley is not convinced.
He says that what's needed is better legislation from the EU on the quality and safety of low-energy lighting.
'But they are very reluctant,' he says. 'Their feeling is that it is the sufferers' problem. In Brussels, the carbon emission targets take precedence.'
This is what happens when a bureaucracy is given a goal and free reign. Nothing gets in their way. Not even blinding (literally) side effects.
I am going to dig deeper on this. If the story holds I will push it. If not I will stop and delete this post.