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Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Risk with CFL light bulbs

UPDATE: 20 September 
Your Right to Life, Liberty, and Inefficient Lighting

August 2010: CFL Risky

Low Energy CFL bulbs causing a rash of problems, Jan 2008

UPDATE: 3 April, 2010Study warns of green light bulb electrosmog
A study has measured the electric fields emitted from these lamps and concluded that a certain distance is needed to keep well under international limits. ...
UPDATE 9 June, 2009

CFL bulbs emit UV light and are used for this purpose in commercial hydroponic food growers.

UPDATE: 25 April, 2009
Natural Health News has been covering the CFL light bulb issue for at least three years. We have 10 articles posted here discussing these light bulbs.

The basic concern is that they are not safe on many levels and we do not suggest you convert to them, surely not inside your home.
The Dark Side of CFL

UPDATE: 30 January, 2009
New LED research will lead to more affordable LED lighting.

UPDATE: 24 January, 2009
Over the past two years on this blog (Natural Health News) we have posted about a dozen articles regarding the risks of CFL light bulbs to your health. Many other warnings were sent in our newsletter, taught in our classes, written about in our many print and on-line articles and our main web site.

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I was rather incensed recently when reading an article in the UK press about a rather well to do official who is set to make a lot of profit from his investment in a new company set up to deal with the hazardous waste of CFL light bulbs.

It amazes me that now with a great amount of information available on the hazards of CFL bulbs that the ads and campaigns continue to mount, especially from so-called environmental groups. There's even a racing car driver that has her own campaign to get you to buy in to CFL.

We have had a number of posts on this topic -
April 2007
December 2007 - Convenience may be causing people to get sick
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a growing health concernBy MARIA TZAVARAS
May 21, 2008
Modern technology makes our lives convenient and efficient, but is it also making us sick?
Electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, are all around us, emitted from items in our home, work and outside environments. Whether it's outside power lines, home electrical wiring or appliances big and small, if it uses electricity, it's giving off EMFs.

That being said, it's inevitable we are all going to be exposed to EMFs so the question becomes what exactly does that mean for our health?

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a growing health concern and, according to Dr. Howard Fisher, a Toronto chiropractor and author of The Invisible Threat, The Risks Associated with EMFs, it can be attributed to several health disorders.

Studies have confirmed these disorders include fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of mental attention, headaches, depression, heart palpitations, memory problems and burning and tingling sensations in the head and extremities.

Fisher also said EMFs have been proven to have effects on neurological tissues, contributing to nerve degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Whether it causes or simply exacerbates symptoms, Fisher said he can't say, but if this is true, why hasn't the public heard more about it?

Health Canada, while recognizing EMFs exist, said it does not feel they negatively impact the health of Canadians.

"Health Canada has no scientific reason to consider the use of wireless communications devices, such as cellphones, BlackBerries, wireless laptop computers and their supporting infrastructure, (are) dangerous to the health of the Canadian public," said the official statement from the health organization. "The World Health Organization has recently confirmed this as well."

Renee Bergeron, media relations officer for Health Canada, said she gets calls on a weekly basis from concerned citizens regarding electromagnetic sensitivities, mainly regarding cellphones.

Currently Bergeron said there's no concrete scientific evidence to back up those concerns.

"We have a whole team of people working in the radiation protection program area; that's what they do," she said.

However, Fisher said he strongly believes in the negative health effects attributed to EMFs and has known about it since the early '80s.

Kevin Byrne, a former sufferer, also said the effects are real.

Three years ago, Byrne moved into a house and did renovations, including installing new lighting complete with 15 compact fluorescent lights and three dimmer switches. Over the next few months, Byrne noticed he was feeling overall unwellness.

"I developed arthritic-like pain. I was very sore and my joints hurt, especially my hips, and I wasn't sleeping well," he said.

He went to the doctor for a checkup, but everything was normal. It wasn't until he was visiting a neighbour, an environmental engineer, that there was some light shed on his situation.

The neighbour was using a Stetzer meter, developed to measure dirty electricity.

Dirty electricity is caused by energy-saving devices such as power bars and compact fluorescent light bulbs. To achieve the lower voltage, electricity is chopped up, allowing it to move slower and achieve energy efficiency. As a result, electricity spews outward and goes back through the wiring in your home, contaminating everything that is plugged in.

After Byrne took to the meter home to his house, he found high levels of dirty electricity.

"Your electricity, when it's clean, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but when it's contaminated ... it's got radiation spewing off of it," Byrne said.

Historically, Fisher said people have been aware of the effects of EMFs since the 1950s. However, it remains a controversial topic with many unknowns.

"What the medical world isn't aware of we don't know how much of the symptoms that they see in practice on a regular basis is due to electromagnetic field effects or actual pathologies," Fisher said.

That being said, other countries such as Sweden and Australia recognize this; so why not Canada?

"When you test anything, like drugs, products or whatever, sometimes you have to look at how big the studies are, how long did they test them for, what are the variables, so we have to accumulate a lot of studies and we have to see a pattern before we can verify it," Bergeron said.

Visit to learn more about how you can avoid EMF exposure.

March 2008
October 2008

Basically for those who do not understand the issue, it is that these bulbs contain mercury, they are hazardous and considered hazardous waste, and they contain EMF emitting units at the base of the bulb.

And there is a health risk, especially in the mounting number of people affected, because of environmental assault, by MCS.

Here is a very interesting paper on CFL bulbs, I encourage you to read it.

And this paper as well -Electromagnetic Fields and Health - Executive Report


Anonymous said...

We are all aware of ill-effects of CFl.So, lets abandon CFls for a better alternative that is more safer eco-friendly and cost-effective too

Unknown said...

We all should stand against the products which lead to global warming and mercury emission. We can start with banning CFLS bulbs and switching on to LEDS

Unknown said...

In the UK as reported recently -
6 March 2011

Councils across UK are refusing to pick up low-energy lightbulbs from homes as they contain toxic mercury, which gives off poisonous vapours. But confused consumers are putting the new compact fluorescent lamps - classed as hazardous waste - in their dustbins when they burn out. Previously the public disposed of traditional light bulbs in the dustbin. UNISON, who represent 1000s of rubbish collectors said it is concerned at the risks binmen are facing. They said "Govt. is not doing enough to make people aware of the risks."

A German Federal Environment Agency study found that when a new bulb breaks, it emits toxic vapour up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area. If a bulb is smashed, the UKs Health Protection Agency advice is to evacuate the room & leave it to ventilate for 15 minutes; wear
protective gloves when wiping the area of the break; wipe with a damp cloth & put the fragments in a plastic bag & seal. Then take to a council dump & place in a special recycling bank because councils do not collect hazardous waste.

Anonymous said...

Stop Incandescent Ban.

Reduce buring coal.
More solar. More Wind.
I like to save environments too.
I like saving the natural environment.
I like saving the human environments.
Bad lighting (CFL/Fluorescents) give bad environent to humans.
Good lighting (Incandescents) give good environment to humans.
Why not ban black sofas. They absorb to much light. They inefficient.
Why not ban non-white clothes. They absorb to much light. They inefficient.
Why not ban all none-shiney surfaces. They absorb to much light. They inefficient.
Why not ban the Incandescent Sun. It's inefficient. Bring in a 10x brighter
efficient CFL Sun. Don't forget the UV100000000000 sun creme!
We left with round shiney ball. Let's call it planet mercury. Blasted by
horrible, unfriendly, aggitating, unhealthy, disease ridden bully call
the CFL Sun. You know what happens with Sun's that big and ab-knock-scious.
They super-nova!

Watts and Efficiency is one thing.
Practical measures are better.
We are poisoning our environment with mercury and bad CFL/Fluorescent Lighting.
They could not win and had to shoot the Winning Incandescent.
So they banned them.
Think about it.

Ron Lentjes
For the people.
Not the gov't.

Anonymous said...

interesting. work for a system that has about 40,000 buildings (yes, part of the federal government). Still operating a lot of those sites with T12 bulbs & 30 year ballast. contacting G.E. lighting for info to help reduce energy waste resulting from inefficiencies within our system. Some of my questions

a. cost of having ballast powered with burnt out bulbs
b. cost of zero lumens output with burnt bulbs
c. heat generated into building from ballast trying to arc across burnt bulbs
d. cost of additional HVAC operating cost from practice
e. Is there emf(s) still produced via powered burnt out fluorescent bulbs?
f. have heard varying info on the effect of optimal fluorescent lighting of eyesight.
Is there any basis to that & is it exacerbated by the use of flickering bulbs or reduced output lighting products?
g. what range of UV EMF(s) are produced by “healthy” bulb versus bulb operating at 60% capacity? 40% ? etc
What else can anyone suggest?
Don't suggest banning CFL bulbs.

Carol said...

Interesting. I had our house builder install light fixtures for greener bulbs. Not only that we are saving on power consumption, it's also a relief I made the right decision.

Tanmay said...

If Cfls have that much risk factor then why not switch to LEDs for our betterment..LED bulbs have gained popularity in no time and they can be seen in every home now..I am also planning to get some for my office...I got a look at Havells LEDs bulbs and they were looking quite good and the features associated were also just amazing.

Zafar said...

I know that every one is thinking about the ill effects of fluorescent lamps but Can we forget the positive aspects of fluorescent lamps.They make us save a lot of energy and also provide greater brightness..I have installed Havells CFLs in my house and they are yeilding out many positive things so why should I switch to other stuff.