Flourescent lamps hurt eyes

October 23rd, 2011 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 23 (IANS) You may be using fluorescent globes instead of filament bulbs to beat climate change but it could be increasing chances of eye diseases, new research says.

“Many people worldwide are exposed to artificial light sources at home and at work which until recently, mainly entailed incandescent lighting,” Helen Walls, who led the study at the Australian National University.

A team of Australian researchers found that fluorescent lighting may cause a 12 percent rise in ultaviolet (UV) rays related eye diseases besides an extra 3,000 cataract cases and 7,500 cases of pterygia each year in Australia alone.

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera).

“The shift to fluorescent lighting means those people are now being exposed to ultraviolet radiation, which is compounded by increasing urbanization and workers spending more of their work time in buildings instead of fields or other outside locations,” said Walls, according to statement from the university.

“The replacement of incandescent lamps with fluorescent lighting will lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gases, however, such shifts may increase the population burden of eye disease,” Halls added.

UV radiation has been considered a cause of cataracts and pterygia because the photoreceptors in the retina are susceptible to damage by light.

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