We know CFL bulbs are world-changingly efficient, producing the same level of light as their incandescent parents while using a quarter of the energy. But they're still a relatively new device, and few long-term studies have been carried out on them. One of the most recent, a new report from a team at Stony Brook, suggests CFLs might cause damage to skin by releasing UV rays.
Researchers rounded up CFL bulbs from two counties in New York, then measured their UV emissions and the strength of their phosphor coatings. They found cracks significant enough to release UV rays in every bulb. In a lab, they exposed healthy, in-vitro skin tissue to the rays and recorded it as "consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation," Miriam Rafailovich, the lead researcher, said in a statement.
That doesn't mean we need to have a mass burning of all our energy-saving lightbulbs, but the researchers suggest not using them at close distances and putting an extra glass cover around them.
Some real statistics might be helpful to dispel the tendency for one to believe this article or the study was funded by some factory CEO making old school light bulbs.
Ordinary dirt has radiation too, but that does not mean all farmers have an increased risk of cancer because of their contact with dirt.
I know we use halogen lamps for the UV component (and it is high.) Didn't know these were dangerous too. Darn, first mercury in them and now this.
What is wrong with led's before I buy them? Made from asbestos?
An estimated 123,590 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the US in 2011 — 53,360 noninvasive and 70,230 invasive, with nearly 8,790 resulting in death
From the skin cancer society.
use your own judgment.
123,000/350,000,000 = 0. 035%
70,230/3500,00,000 = 0.02%
53,360/350,000,000 = 0.015%
I would think getting skin cancer for light bulbs is very low but if your worried use sun screen.
Yes, rub a bunch of chemicals into your skin to avoid cancer.
@theLordsDevil - You do realize chemicals are not inherently harmful? Water is a chemical and it's vital for all life.
I use CFL 100% through out my home. I wonder if a CFL bubls in a lamp with its lamp shade filters out the harmful UV rays?
I have serious doubts of the home user and the small business company disposes of bad CFL bulbs properly. I believe most are tossed in the regular trash. I wonder how the ground drinking water is being effected by the mercury?
Popsci is a pretty darn liberal website, I doubt that they would have posted this story if it wasn't legitimate. If it was funded by an incandescent light bulb company, Popsci would be spending paragraphs pointing that how and how the research was bias.
These green technologies are also deadly technologies, just in their own special way. These light bulbs can also cause mercury poisoning lol.
Well, I wrap mine in white paper for a soft light effect. So, you knooooww...
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I never use the or florescent light bulbs. Not because of UV but because of the flicker rates in these bulbs are made to send subliminal messages to your brain. Same with the flicker rates of TV's.
ALH - The tin foil doesn't block the UV?
I had my home build with some of the most green for the time means 25 years ago. The CFL lamps I had installed are almost all the same ones burning today. They cost a lot back then but I believe the electric bill has rewarded me for the past 10 years.
I do take any that fail to be recycled. It is about as easy as it gets. Almost anywhere takes them.
I do need to figure out a way to test for UV.
Of course using pear shaped ones, with the extra cover round the tubes, just makes them still dimmer ;-)
Would agree that it's hardly riveting stuff.
Though it highlights the irony of compromising fluorescent technology (best in long tube form),
or LED technology (best in sheet form),
to replace the advantages of incandescent technology in bulbs, in terms of brightness and light quality
maybe of interest,
more on CFL skin sensitivity issues and studies
Somewhere between the sun and the Earth is a black parabolic dish emitting bent sun rays at the Earth, causing the aurora borealis to pulse in a arithmetic state and millions of humans are frozen, staring at the night sky and everyone in their are frozen in their homes too, staring frozen looking at their TVs and CFL bulbs as they pulse in same arithmetic state. Deep in space a space ship has set course towards Earth as it blast off from Mars with thousand of 20ft tall eggs. ....
Robot, you changed your pic!!!!
Sir, I change my pics and robotic underwear often. Thank you for noticing. ;)
What about LEDs?
There is a greater conspiracy regarding CFLs and I can't believe that no one else is talking about it. This concerns the alleged energy savings they are purported to achieve. This is an outright lie! I did my own tests of CFLs from 6 different manufacturers. They were all touted as 13-14 watt bulbs, supposed 60 watt replacements. When I metered them (after fully warming up of course) the actual draw ranged from 44 to an astounding 56 watts! The light output for these lamps was not actually much better than a conventional 40 watt lamp and no where near the 900 lumens that was advertised. Where exactly is the energy savings there? Sure, they last a bit longer than an incandescent however no where near the claimed life expectancy. I used them in my home for a few years before switching to LEDs and I found that I was changing them with a frequency nearly on par with conventional bulbs. Throw in the issue of toxic mercury and this new revelation of UV leakage and it seems that CFLs are just a bad idea all around.
iggylights, I don't think you took into consideration the power factor since CFL's in general always draw very close their rated power so as to avoid false advertising claims which are very easy to test for. CFL's(and all fluorescent lights) are a non-linear load and the average meter doesn't measure it properly since the waveform is non-sinusoidal. Find the PF then volts * amps * power factor.
Residences are billed in watts not apparent power (volts * amps) so the high readings of apparent power are not an indication of a higher electric bill. You can modify the power factor on the CFL's by adding capacitance all the way past a .9 PF but it is not going to lower your electric bill, if you have a LOT of lights the power company might be a little happier.
Please stop making comments about mercury poisoning because if you behave like a logical human being, that won't ever happen. This has been covered time and again, but somewhat recently... http://www.liebertpub.com/global/pressrelease/mercury-vapor-released-from-broken-compact-fluorescent-light-bulbs-can-exceed-safe-exposure-levels-for-humans/921/