NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 7, 2008

The British Government's planned switchover from traditional light-bulbs to low-energy lighting could cause health problems for tens of thousands of people with skin conditions, experts have warned.

According to Professor John Hawk, dermatology spokesman for the British Skin Foundation:

  • New-style bulbs will cause problems for people with light-sensitive skin, some of whom are already unable to spend time in buildings with fluorescent strip lighting, like factories and hospitals.
  • Certain forms of eczema -- some of which are very common -- flare up badly anywhere near fluorescent lights.
  • A smaller number of patients with very severe light sensitivity are unable to tolerate exposure to the small amount of ultra-violet light given off by the new-style bulbs.

There are a "significant number" of people in the United Kingdom who are already unable to visit or work in buildings with fluorescent lighting, said Hawk.

"It is people who will have to be exposed to them in their homes that we are worried for, and I very strongly suggest that incandescent bulbs remain available for use in the home," he said.

Source: "Bulb switchover 'could harm health,'" Press Association, January 6, 2008.


Browse more articles on Health Issues