With the ring-in of the New Year brings changes to a lot more than just people…laws.
One such Canadian law came into effect as of today…Let me illuminate the story:
“The Conservative government announced an aggressive plan in 2007 that would effectively remove most incandescent bulbs from retail shelves in favour of more expensive alternatives, such as compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.”
So……..are you afflicted with a condition that also puts photo-sensitivity in your repertoire of illness(es)?
Having Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, I had myself a gander at the impact of using CFL and LED lighting in my home. I wanted to know if there’s anything I should be aware of because, frankly, any great length of time spent in a department store or a shopping mall sometimes leaves me itchy. I know from working in a small law office the effects of the lighting on my increase in headaches and general skin malaise.
I found a couple of links to share with you so that you can make your own decisions on what works for you, or at the very least, provides you with a base upon which to further research the effects of each.
I limited my search to skin photo-sensitivity simply because…well…because that’s what I was looking for. If I find something to eliminate/reduce skin afflictions, naturally the reduction should also work for any eye/head issues.
“Dammit, Jim…I’m a regular person, not a scientist!”
CFL’S: Have a read through (or scroll down) the article…there is a plethora of skin and systemic conditions for which photo-sensitivity has a factor.
It does specifically address SLE, and I will save you some effort and highlight the section:
“188.8.131.52. Lupus Erythematosus
Lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease that is often exacerbated by sunlight exposure. Its prevalence is estimated at 27.7 per 100,000 of the general population with a much higher prevalence reported for females of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity (Hopkinson et al. 1993, Johnson et al. 1995). Some patients do describe artificial light causing problems. Provoking wavelengths seem to be predominantly in the UVB extending into UVA2. A range of skin presentations include butterfly rash, a polymorphic light eruption presentation and lupus erythematosus tumidus are examples.
Through their UV component, chronic exposure to CFL could possibly be a problem. Systemic lupus is an important condition in that skin flares can be associated with internal disease activity [Evidence level C].”
I learned something. I’d had no idea it was the UV rays that were contributing to the photo-sensitivity. Obviously, I *get* that the sun gives off UVA and UVB radiation…what I didn’t understand was that it was available in some kinds of light bulbs.
“Dammit, Jim…I’m a regular person, not a light bulb specialist!”
I was able to also find an article by the European Commission on the:
Again, there is a plethora of conditions in which photo-sensitivity is indicated.
Again, there is also a section specifically mentioning Lupus Erythematosus:
“It is possible that some severely affected patients may be provoked by UVA emitting low energy artificial light sources. Lupus erythematosus (LE) Lupus erythematosus is an uncommon clinically significant group of closely related auto immune diseases that involve the skin. They affect all age groups in both sexes and are made up of four recognised sub types:
1. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most serious and potentially lethal form which affects both the skin and systemic organs.
2. Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE).
3. Chronic discoid lupus erythematosus (CDLE).
4. Lupuserythematosus tumidus (LET).
There is no doubt that UV exposure plays an important induction or aggravation role in all LE sub types. This field has been extensively reviewed (Hasan et al. 1997, Kuhn et al. 2006, Millard et al. 2000). Many LE patients may not be aware of their photosensitivity.”
The article continues to look at the response of patients to various UV ray types and does outline the concept that each person, being an individual, can have a different reaction from those others with the same condition.
To this extent, their conclusion is summed up as:
It seems reasonable to assume that at least some LE patients, and particularly those with SLE, are at risk from chronic UV exposure from some low energy emitting lamps such as CFLs and unfiltered halogen bulbs. In this context it is noted that LE support groups are already advising the use of double rather than single envelope CFLs.”
Huhn. Something to think about.
Well, what about LED’s, then?
I took a a part from the above mentioned article from the European Commission:
“What is clear from the clinic is that there is a wide range of individual disease severity with differing amounts of UV being required to provoke lesions in patients. It is also evident in this particularly susceptible group that the main concern with the change from the use of incandescent to low energy light sources relates to the UV content of CFLs. Newer LED illumination lamps do not emit in the UV region and are therefore not such an issue for these UV sensitive patients. This explains the CFL emphasis of this section.”
I…am…not so sure about that.
But, with enough looking, I came across a validation that yes, LED’s do produce a small amount of UV radiation…but that they emit even less.
*Interesting to note in the article was the use of LED lighting in museums to counter any potential damage to the gallery contents due to constant UV emissions from CFL’s
While I looooooooooove my incandescent bulbs for their natural, less “buzzy” looking/feeling colour…the industry has been adding “Soft White” to their repertoires of bulbs.
If you, or someone you know, suffers from photo-sensitivity, I would encourage you to do some research of your own and find the best option available for your condition(s).
As always, if you have a useful resource or link, feel free to share!
Knowledge is power…to illuminate our understanding of how we can help each other to help ourselves. 🙂