As the government continues to move toward mandatory compact fluorescent lighting, those with sensitivity are being pushed to the back of the line. For many people fluorescent lighting can cause problems that warrants an ER visit. The constant flicker of florescent can affect the sensory system in some individuals. Some peoples sensory system can detect the flicker that others cannot. In fact ever since fluorescent lighting was introduced into the workplace, the complaints of headaches, migraines, eye strain and general eye discomfort have been increased.
My Neurologist said "There have been increasing evidence that fluorescent lighting can increase seizures in those who are prone to seizures."
If you want the CFL's to be safe, you can find evidence of that when doing a search online. If you want them to be unsafe, you can find evidence of that online. My point is that this subject is very debatable. However I know that they do affect me. The lower the ceiling in an area with these bulbs the quicker and more they affect my head pain. As I sifted through the search for health effects of Fluorescent lighting I stayed with the government and health-care sites. I found the evidence to support my reaction to fluorescent lights. Here is some of what I found:
Australian Government Department of Environment says:
"Slightly more UV light may be emitted by some compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) when compared to an equivalent incandescent lamp. It has been suggested that a small number of people with very severe light sensitive conditions may be adversely affected by the very small amount of UV light emitted from a bare CFL.
Some concern has been raised that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can have adverse impacts on the health of individuals who are affected by ultra-violet (UV) light, specifically sufferers of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Lupus.
There are rare instances recorded of prolonged exposure to bare linear (tubular) fluorescent lamps provoking Lupus in hypersensitive individuals. The use of standard acrylic light covers or diffusers to filter light between the light source and the lupus sufferer eliminates the risk posed by UV light. Light covers are commonly used for aesthetics and to reduce glare, but have been shown to reduce UV light output by about 94 per cent."
News from The Health Protection Agency on compact fluorescent lights
"We know that the topic of low energy / fluorescent lights is of great interest to migraineurs.
Today (9th October 2008), the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued information regarding emissions from compact fluorescent lights, and has produced a precautionary advice fact sheet regarding the use of compact fluorescent lights in the home. To download the fact sheet click here.
Research carried out by the HPA has shown that some energy saving light bulbs emit ultraviolet radiation which could, under certain conditions, expose people above recommended guideline levels.
However, the HPA states that you don't need to worry unless you are using a lamp containing one of the open bulbs (see fact sheet) closer to your skin than 30cm (1 ft) for more than one hour a day. If this is the case you can change to an encapsulated type low energy light bulb (which look like traditional light bulbs), or move the lamp until it is more than 30cm away.
The HAP is not recommending that people remove these light bulbs from their homes, although it states that people who suffer lupus and other light sensitive conditions need to be cautious about their use of CLF's.
Migraine Action continues to recommend that people affected by migraine avoid fluorescent, halogen and low energy light bulbs if possible, as these can be a migraine trigger for many."
"The following is a list of symptoms and diseases known to be linked to exposure to fluorescent lighting:
Headache, eyestrain, eye irritation, fatigue, difficulty in concentration, increased rate of 'misjudgments' and accidents, malaise and irritability can be caused by noise, glare and flicker from fluorescent lighting.
Increased stress (which may in turn lead to heart disease) can arise from increasing the intensity of artificial light with fluorescent tubes. It has been shown that increased use of artificial light (rather than natural light) affects the levels of hormones in the body, particularly the hormones associated with stress, such as cortisol.
Variation in brightness, as provided by daylight, is necessary for the normal functioning of the body's rhythms. The monotonous illumination of fluorescent lighting may also add to the changes in hormone production.
Allergic skin reactions and dermatitis can be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights. An unknown number of people suffer from 'cutaneous light sensitivity' due to fluorescent lights. This means that not only can they become allergic to fluorescent lighting but they can become more sensitive to ordinary sunlight.
Certain long-term, mild skin diseases can become worse if the sufferer is exposed to fluorescent light. Some medical drugs (including some tranquilizers, antibiotics, heart drugs and diuretics) can make you particularly sensitive to UV radiation (photosensitivity). Skin eruptions then occur even with the small doses of UV (in the 300-320nm wavelength range) emitted by white fluorescent lights.
Hyperactivity has been linked to the flickering produced by fluorescent lighting. Microwave emissions from fluorescent lighting are also suspected of contributing to these behavioral disorders. Other mild behavioral disorders in children may be made worse by working at school under fluorescent lighting.
There is also some evidence that the following effects may be caused by exposure to fluorescent lights:
Increased risk of seizure in epilepsy sufferers
Higher incidence of miscarriage
Speeding up the aging of the retina."
Nursing In Practice
"Migraine fears over light bulb changes
Wednesday 7th January 2009
The Migraine Action Association (MAA) has called on the government to provide an array of specialist light bulbs that people can buy after retailers voluntarily stopped stocking 100-watt bulbs.
The group said people who suffer from migraines could have attacks set off by a "flicker" in the energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, which is not visible to others.
Some retailers have stopped restocking traditional 100-watt bulbs as part of a government-backed drive to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by about five million tonnes a year.
But the MAA has recommended that migraine sufferers should stockpile old-style bulbs while they are still available.
Campaigners claim the energy efficiently bulbs, which are a version of the fluorescent strip lights found in many offices, can have a harmful effect on migraine sufferers.
Lee Tomkins, director of the Migraine Action Association, said: "All we are asking is that migraineurs are given a choice. They are very sensitive to light, and believe that attacks can be triggered by a flicker that is imperceptible to other people.
"We are saying the new bulbs should not be used in reading lights, or where people eat. They can be used in areas of low traffic, such as hallways, and people must be given a choice over which type of bulbs to buy."
Copyright © Press Association 2009"
I know that fluorescent lights do affect me. I can no longer go to church and sit with the rest of the congregation. I have to go into a back room and turn off the lights. If I do not do this, I will leave for the ER after about one hour. I know that when I go shopping, I can only be in a store for so long before I have to leave. If I do not leave quick enough I will be in ER. There are many other ways that I know the fluorescent lights affect my head pain but they are too many to name. I hope each of you will do your own research to see if these lights are making you sick. I know they are mine.
I hope you will take the time to view this video. It is wonderful.
Please share you thoughts with me on this subject. Please remember to be kind to those who share. Each of us have opinions and they are each important.
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