Skin Cancer from Light Bulbs?
A shocking and disturbing revelation about the new eco-friendly light bulbs exposes the risk of damage from ultraviolet radiation. They are the compact fluorescent light bulbs, which have the tell-tale curly appearance.
They use a whopping 75 percent less energy than the old-fashioned, standard, incandescent light bulbs that most of us grew up with. But they have a significant, harmful side effect that must not be overlooked: they emit UV radiation, which causes skin cancer.
UV light is what is emitted from the sun, the damaging rays that dermatologists say cause deadly skin cancer. We are constantly reminded to wear sun block to protect ourselves from this UV light. Now some dermatologists are saying not only is sun block a good idea outside, but unbelievably, also INSIDE because of compact fluorescent light bulbs!
By the way, there is no such risk of UV damage from the old incandescent bulbs.
Scientists at Stony Brook University in New York studied the eco-friendly compact fluorescent light bulbs and found that ALL the bulbs they tested, regardless of brand, emitted "significant" levels of UV rays.
How and why is this outrageous health risk occurring?
As you may have noticed, the compact fluorescent light bulbs have a coating on their surface. That coating is made of phosphor, which serves as a barrier to keep the UV radiation from escaping from inside the light bulb. However, the phosphor material is brittle, and as it turns out, breaks and chips and cracks very easily.
This is further exacerbated by the fact that the material is especially vulnerable if placed on an item with many twists and curls, such as the compact fluorescent light bulbs. UV radiation escapes the light bulbs though the breaks, chips, and cracks in the phosphor.
The study's lead author, Miriam Rafailovich, noted that, "skin cells exposed to (compact fluorescent light) emissions showed the same damage as those exposed to UV light." The results of the study were published in the journal, Photochemistry and Photobiology.
The study revealed that the skin damage from the light bulbs occurred when people were close to them, such as a distance of one or two feet. Therefore, doctors advise keeping at least a couple of feet from these bulbs, covering them with glass and wearing sun block at all times.