Low Energy Bulbs and Migraines

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • Low energy light bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs - CFLs) have come under scrutiny recently. These bulbs are good for the environment and are more efficient and less expensive to use than the older incandescent light bulbs. The incandescent bulbs are scheduled for voluntary removal from store shelves by December 2011 in the UK and in the US by 2012.

     

    However, using these new CFL's instead of the older incandescent bulbs may pose a problem for people with Migraine disease. According to The Migraine Action Association (MAA) in the UK, low energy bulbs can trigger a Migraine attack. Some CFL's use technology similar to fluorescent lights, which can have a "flickering" effect. It is this "flickering" that can be a Migraine trigger for some. Other concerns come from people with lupus, and epilepsy. People have experienced dizziness, lack of concentration, and pain from exposure to CFLs. The MAA may ask the UK to not totally ban incandescent bulbs for those who really need them.

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    Instead of eliminating incandescent light bulbs, there has to be a way to make them more energy efficient, less costly and earth friendly. CFL's contain mercury, a clear environmental hazard. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the mercury content, but it will never be non-existent in CFL's. They aren't accepted at all recycling centers, so what do we do with them when they burn out? Wouldn't it be better to fix or update incandescent bulbs instead of making them a potential health hazard for Migraineurs and people with seizure disorders?

     

    Sources:

     

    Hope, Jenny; Derbyshire, David. "Energy-saving bulbs 'can cause migraines' warn experts." Daily Mail. UK. January 4, 2008.

     

    Deutsch, Claudia. "No Joke, Bulb Change is Challenge for U.S." The New York Times. December 22, 2007.

     

Published On: January 03, 2008