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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA News
FRONT PAGE  |  7/3/2015
SATURDAY, JAN 5, 2013  |  10 comments
Study: 'Eco-Friendly' Light Bulbs May Cause Cancer

Every time you turn on the lights, you may be putting yourself at risk, according to a disturbing new study.

Energy efficient bulbs are eco-friendly and can save you big bucks, but experts say that some could also have a dark side.

Money saving, compact fluorescent light bulbs emit high levels of ultra violet radiation, according to a new study. Research at Long Island’s Stony Brook found that the bulbs emit rays so strong that they can actually burn skin and skin cells.

“It can also cause skin cancer in the deadliest for, and that’s melanoma,” said Dr. Rebecca Tung. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 10 user comment(s)
News Item1/7/13 11:38 AM
MiChris | Michigan  Protected NameFind all comments by MiChris
Scott McMahan wrote:
Ugh. A pop-science report of an announcement of an article that's behind a paywall. We don't really know what this study says, just what a pop-science journalist thinks the article says based on a press release. Without being able to read the actual study, which we can't because it's behind a paywall, we don't know if this third-hand report is correct or not.
I suggest relaxing to some music while we wait for real scientists to debate the merits of this study. Joe Jackson's song "Cancer" comes to mind. ("Everything causes cancer.")
I looked at the article, while they didn't do as large of a sample as I would have liked (9 different bulbs) and I'm not entirely sure how many cell tissue experiments they did - it looks to show (or at least suggest) that there are serious issues.

The bulbs they tested all had defects in the coating (the phosphor) which allows the UV light to "escape". As expected shining UV light on skin cells in culture caused defects.

10

News Item1/5/13 2:33 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Mike wrote:
GE produces CFLs, apparently opposed outlawing incandescents, but lobbied for efficiency standards for light bulbs in 2007. Of course, this effectively would result in the outlawing.
Also, GE presumably has the R&D resources to more easily comply with efficiency stds. Perhaps this is a backdoor way of eliminating less well-financed competitors. I think the “ozone-friendly” R134 A/C refrigerant requirement may have been a similar situation – DuPont had a conflict of interest in lobbying for the new formula. BTW it cost me about $1K to upgrade my old Honda Accord from R12 (recharging it with the scarcer R12 cost only a little less).

Progressive bureaucratic regulation can & will be played by interested parties to their advantage. The best cure for corporate greed (if any) is not taxation, but to totally deregulate so they cannot escape competition.

9

News Item1/5/13 1:41 PM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Not only is the life expectancy of CFLs exaggerated, it was established by the DOE.(We have to save energy so we can save the planet) Interesting background in this. Whether dots should be connected is not known. GE produces CFLs, apparently opposed outlawing incandescents, but lobbied for efficiency standards for light bulbs in 2007. Of course, this effectively would result in the outlawing. In 2008, GE, a highly rated company at the time, was given what is termed bailout money that was in the billions.
8

News Item1/5/13 1:32 PM
Scott McMahan | Internet  Protected NameFind all comments by Scott McMahan
Ugh. A pop-science report of an announcement of an article that's behind a paywall. We don't really know what this study says, just what a pop-science journalist thinks the article says based on a press release. Without being able to read the actual study, which we can't because it's behind a paywall, we don't know if this third-hand report is correct or not.

I suggest relaxing to some music while we wait for real scientists to debate the merits of this study. Joe Jackson's song "Cancer" comes to mind. ("Everything causes cancer.")

7

News Item1/5/13 12:45 PM
John UK | Wales  Find all comments by John UK
Candles are quite nice - didn't seem to hamper John Owen.
6

News Item1/5/13 12:24 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Who in the past century ever asserted that mercury is safe? Fluorescent bulbs are considered hazardous waste because of it.

In our experience, CF bulbs didn't last as long as advertised. Neither did LEDs, which had nowhere near the brightness claimed, either. Haven't tried halogen yet. Remember: Energy is only consumed while the bulb is on!

Maybe fluorescent tubes are a safer bet; they've been used for years in offices & factories. Too bad they aren't so practical a shape for the household; we only have one, on our piano. Some kitchens have fixtures for them. Or we can light our houses with all those flat-screen monitors & TVs, since we're in front of them so often

Thus the white-paper punchline: More Research Is Needed.

5

News Item1/5/13 11:20 AM
jpw  Find all comments by jpw
somehow the selling point is that mercury is safe. It is not!
4

News Item1/5/13 10:18 AM
Mike | New York  Find all comments by Mike
Christopher000 wrote:
Well, that's just great, especially since incandescent bulbs will be illegal to use. I'm not a fan of flourescent lighting...it's ugly, it flickers, and now this.
I guess LED's are the way to go but they are still too expensive to swap out all of the lighting.
Stock up on incandescents. They're very inexpensive, and they have no mercury in them which need be dealt with. If the electricity that's "wasted" as heat is significant enough to be a concern, it will help with the heat bills by helping to keep the furnace operating less often. If the bulb heat loss is not significant, we shouldn't be worrying about it anyway.
3

News Item1/5/13 8:50 AM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
The video mentioned that shades will not serve any sort of protection. I'm mentioning it in case anyone uses these in their reading lamps, etc, since it's recommended that you stay at least two feet away from them.
2

News Item1/5/13 8:23 AM
Christopher000 | Rhode Island  Find all comments by Christopher000
Well, that's just great, especially since incandescent bulbs will be illegal to use. I'm not a fan of flourescent lighting...it's ugly, it flickers, and now this.
I guess LED's are the way to go but they are still too expensive to swap out all of the lighting.
1
There are a total of 10 user comments displayed | add new comment |Subscribe to these comments
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