Many people currently use energy-saving lamps, whether in the home, office, or anywhere else. Is there really any damage to these energy-saving lamps? This is what we will show today through the following article
At the outset and before talking about the damages of energy-saving lamps, we must present some important information about light
- Introduction: What is light?
Light consists of electromagnetic waves that cannot be seen by the eye. In addition to visible light, the sun emits infrared and ultraviolet rays.
Ultraviolet rays have higher energy than visible light and infrared rays have lower energy. Most of the higher energy UV rays are filtered out in the layers of the atmosphere before they reach the Earth’s surface.
- How do light, infrared and ultraviolet rays interact with the skin and eyes?
Light is very necessary for life on Earth, because it affects humans and other living things in different ways.
For example: the interaction between light and between the skin and the eyes affects our sense of cold and warmth.
- Light also helps the body regulate the processes that lead to wakefulness and rest through the day-night cycle and the different seasons.
When light reaches the skin or eyes, it can be reflected or penetrated into tissues and absorbed or scattered in different directions, this interaction depends on the wavelength of the rays
- Most UV rays do not penetrate further than the surface layers of the skin, and although they have some benefits such as aiding in the formation of vitamin D, they are considered harmful as they destroy the protein and DNA in the skin and eyes, especially the short wavelength UV rays.
Some people, when exposed to ultraviolet rays, get burns as a result of their sensitivity to sunlight.
- Longer wavelength rays such as ordinary light and infrared rays are usually less harmful, although they cause the tissues exposed to them to warm up. The interaction between light and the light-sensitive cells in the eye causes our color vision.
- How do fluorescent bulbs work?
Fluorescent lamps consist of a glass tube containing a mixture of gases including mercury. The tubes are coated with fluorescent chemicals (radioactive or fluorescent).
When electrical current is connected, electrons are generated at each end of the tube, which excite the gases inside and make them produce ultraviolet rays, which, when hit by a fluorescent, produce light.
- The color of the resulting light depends on the lining chemicals. Some fluorescent bulbs give off a bluer light than regular bulbs, making them more simulated daylight.
Fluorescent bulbs have a glass enclosure that filters ultraviolet rays, but sometimes some ultraviolet rays escape, so the use of two layers of glass reduces the emission of ultraviolet rays.
- Compact fluorescent lamps emit light and some ultraviolet radiation, but their circuits, like some other electrical devices, produce a magnetic field, the size of these fields at an optimum distance being less than likely and well accepted.
In contrast to ordinary lamps that produce low electric and magnetic fields, compact fluorescent lamps produce low and medium fields.
- Do fluorescent lights aggravate non-skin health problems?
Some people who have health issues not related to the skin claim that fluorescent lights worsen their health problems.
- This link has not been confirmed by scientific research, and more studies must be conducted before coming to a final conclusion about the relationship of energy-saving fluorescent bulbs, ultraviolet radiation, and electric and magnetic fields.
CFLs can cause migraines and seizures in patients with epilepsy, but this has not happened with well-functioning CFLs.
- There is some evidence that blue light can cause retinal problems in patients who are susceptible to it. It cannot be excluded that light sensitivity increases with different lighting conditions.
There is no evidence that fluorescent light has a negative effect on people with autism, but the effect could not be ruled out.
- There is sufficient evidence that the use of compact fluorescent lights does not exacerbate dyslexia and learning difficulties that lead to difficulties in reading and spelling.
There are no reports of the effect of these lamps on people with chronic stress syndrome, fibromyalgia, dyspraxia, or HIV.
It is very unlikely that those lamps used to light a room will cause snow blindness or cataracts. There is no link between the magnetic fields produced by these lamps and sensitivity to magnetic fields.
- Can fluorescent bulbs affect people with skin problems?
Exposure to some types of compact fluorescent lamps with a single glass envelope can lead to serious problems in those who are very sensitive to sunlight, especially to ultraviolet rays, and this happens especially if the light source is very close to the skin.
- And those who are very sensitive to light, including those who have genetic diseases in the skin that increase with light, and also those who have skin problems that have no specific cause, the unfiltered ultraviolet rays from these lamps cause skin reactions in patients with SLE.
There are many drugs that cause skin problems when exposed to light. Compact fluorescent lights are not likely to cause problems, but in the treatment of some types of cancer, some drugs are activated by exposure to light and this may cause skin problems for some people.
- These patients may show slightly more reactions when exposed to the light of these lamps than ordinary lamps, and these damages only affect a small percentage and can be avoided by using double-glazed lamps.
- Are energy-saving lamps dangerous for some patients?
Some groups of patients who use fluorescent lamps may have some disease problems, and the main causes are ultraviolet rays, blue light, and electromagnetic fields generated by those lamps, although there is no evidence that the electromagnetic fields generated by these lamps cause or exacerbate some diseases.
Blue light and ultraviolet light may cause some symptoms in patients who have diseases that make them sensitive to light, while the danger of compact fluorescent lamps is negligible for the rest of the people.
However, the use of lamps with a single glass cover for long periods of time near the body (less than 20 cm) leads to the exposure of the body to levels of ultraviolet rays close to the limits that lead to damage to the retina and skin.
Energy-saving lamps were examined to assess the risks related to their use, and accordingly the following conclusions were drawn:
- There is no evidence that electromagnetic fields are dangerous to people with allergies.
- The only property of compact fluorescent lamps that can cause danger is the ultraviolet and blue light emitted by these devices.
At worst, these rays may exacerbate symptoms for those with rare skin problems that make them exceptionally sensitive to light.
- Most can be exposed to large amounts of ultraviolet radiation from those lamps with a single glass envelope if they are exposed to it for a long time and at a distance of less than 20 cm.
- The use of double-glazed energy-saving lamps or similar technologies reduces the risks for light-sensitive patients and for the rest of the population.