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Topic Title: 21. Energy-Saving Light Bulbs Can Cause Skin Cancer
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Created On: 31 October 2012 03:52 AM
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 31 October 2012 03:52 AM
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jinn

Posts: 1
Joined: 20 October 2012

The scientists, led by Miriam Rafailovich, collected CFL bulbs from across Long Island to measure the amount of UV the bulbs gave off. They were alarmed thow many of the bulbs' phosphor coatings were lacking, causing them to leak significant levels of UVC and UVA.

"Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation," said Rafailovich.

"Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs. Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover."

Healthy human skin tissue cells, including fibroblasts, a type of cell found in connective tissue that produces collagen, and keratinocytes, an epidermal cell that produces keratin, were damaged by the CFL radiation.

Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs of the same intensity were found to have no adverse affect on the same cells
 02 November 2012 10:09 AM
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aroscoe

Posts: 91
Joined: 18 October 2002

Interesting. You can get the proper article (without all the media spin) at

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...1097.2012.01192.x/pdf

I'm interested to put this into perspective, and so far not managing to find enough appropriate data in a 5 minute search to fully satisfy myself. My feeling is this might be a but similar to the way that although radioactive exposure levels are quite low and relatively strictly enforced within controlled environments, you can exceed the limits by living in (for example) Aberdeen or Devon/Cornwall.

The "TLV" for the UVA/B/C quoted in the paper is 6 (UVC), 100 (UVB) and 1000 (UVA) mJ/cm2 in an 8 hour period.

I'm just trying to relate that to how much my exposure is in a European country on an average day when I walk around with my face and arms exposed. The best reference I found so far is Wikipedia, so I would welcome any better data sources if anyone can find them.

Wikipedia suggest that at the Equator, at midday, there is about 32W/m2 of UVA+UVB reaching the ground (UVC is blocked by air mass). [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet Also, about 98.7% of this is UVA, so roughly 31.6W/m2 of UVA and 0.4W/m2 of UVB. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...ffects_of_sun_exposure

These figures would represent exposures in 8 hours of 91,000 (UVA) and 1000 (UVB) mJ/cm2, which clearly exceed the TLV by factors of 100 (UVA) and 10 (UVB). Now, this data is for the equator at midday so in Europe, even in full sun, the exposures will be lower, but by a factor of 10 or 100? Probably not!

So, my suspicion is that I could exceed the TLV figures for UVA and UVB in Europe just by walking around in my short sleeves, possibly even on a cloudy day. I'm more worried about this than spending 8 hours with my body rammed up within 20cm of a CFL (which never happens!).

Does anyone know any more about UVC?

Possibly I would be more concerned about UVA/UVB/UVC from my twin flat panel displays I spend 5 hours a day looking at. What are the regs/emissions from those? I have no idea!


-------------------------
Dr. Andrew Roscoe

http://personal.strath.ac.uk/andrew.j.roscoe
 02 November 2012 07:43 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Good news for those currently at risk from vitamin D deficiency?

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 02 November 2012 08:27 PM
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cookers

Posts: 203
Joined: 10 February 2012

Is this a case of "It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that people will believe anything".
 03 November 2012 09:48 AM
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alancapon

Posts: 5745
Joined: 27 December 2005

I suspect it is another one of those where insufficient evidence exists either for or against. As seems to be usual in these circumstances, it is the "scare story" side of the argument that wins, as it attracts more attention.

Regards,

Alan.
 03 November 2012 10:05 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I'm sure CFLs do emit UV light, and I'm happy to accept - and I'm sure I've seen this elsewhere - that if you held one (say) 10cm from your skin for (say) 12 hours every day you would receive harmful levels. But Andrew's comparison above with radiation and Cornwall is very apt - I live on a granite outcrop in Cornwall and have no concerns at all about the effect of radiation on my family, equally I have no concerns at all about the way we use CFLs - and we've been using them for nearly 25 years.

Crossing the road, mental stress, climate change, and my 17 year old daughter being a prat I am worried about.

It's all to do with the risk/probability matrix. Shame so few people seem to understand it...maybe the thing I'm most worried about is that the Daily Mail is apparently the most widely read newspaper in the UK!!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 09 November 2012 09:51 AM
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Claudfox

Posts: 3
Joined: 09 November 2012

Interesting, but how much is this risk in comparison to unhealthy lifestyle most "office people"are leaving now?
Statistics

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