Energy saving light bulbs may be cancer causing

April 21st, 2011 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 21 (IANS) Energy saving light bulbs are easy on your purse but they may be deadly for your health as they emit cancer causing chemicals when switched on.

German scientists have warned that they should not be left on for long periods or be positioned near a person’s head as they emit poisonous substances.

Peter Braun, who tested these bulbs at the Berlin’s Alab Lab, said: “For such carcinogenic substances, it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”

The bulbs are already widely used in Britain following an EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year, the Telegraph reports.

But the German scientists said toxins like phenol, naphthalene and styrene, were released when the supposedly green compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on.

Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps.

“I, therefore, use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”

The latest report follows claims by Abraham Haim, professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, that the bulbs could result in higher breast cancer rates if used late at night.

He said the bluer light that CFLs emitted closely mimicked daylight, disrupting the body’s production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.

The Migraine Action Association has warned they could trigger migraines and skin care specialists have claimed their intense light could exacerbate a range of existing skin problems.

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