As I’ve written before, (here, and here, for example) there are many good reasons to remove the ban (pardon me, “unattainable performance standard that will serve as a de-facto ban”) on incandescent light bulbs.
Now there’s another reason to add to the list of objections. Besides being expensive, undimmable, slow-to-brighten, giving off ugly light, and containing mercury, compact fluorescent bulbs apparently give off UV radiation that will damage your skin.
According to Caroline May writing in the Daily Caller:
New research funded by the National Science Foundation has scientists warning consumers about the potentially harmful effects energy-saving CFL light bulbs can have on skin.
The warning comes based on a study conducted by Stony Brook University and New York State Stem Cell Science — published in the June issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology—which looked at whether and how the invisible UV rays CFL bulbs emit affect the skin.
Based on the research, scientists concluded that CFL light bulbs can be harmful to healthy skin cells.
“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University, in New York, in a statement. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”
According to Rafailovich, with or without TiO2 (a chemical found in sunblock), incandescent bulbs of the same light intensity had zero effects on healthy skin.
The study authors warn about being exposed to naked bulbs:
“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs,” said Rafailovich. “Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”
The “one-study never proves anything” rule still holds, of course. Still, I’m glad I stocked up on regular incandescent bulbs. Unban the bulb!