MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A jaw-dropping study on compact fluorescent light bulbs reveals that UV emissions from the bulbs can be bad for your health. The research from Stony Brook University in New York claims UV radiation from energy-efficient light bulbs can burn the skin and lead to skin cancer. The Shelby County Health Department says while this is true, the study is very misleading.
Dr. Tyler Zerwekh with the Shelby County Health Department says that the study was performed in a laboratory environment with continuous and un-shielded exposure, which does not happen in every day life. Some major considerations are left out. One must consider the length of direct UV exposure time, your distance from the light bulb, and how much protection you get from clothing and your surroundings.
“The study from the UK and Australia has demonstrated that at less than 1 foot, you are safe for exposure by the FDA for 8 hours or up to 1 hour continuous,” says Dr. Zerwekh. “By comparison, the exposure level on a sunny day in Memphis is about 8 to 12 minutes and a tanning bed is 16-20 minutes.”
The easiest way to drastically reduce UV exposure inside your home is put shades or translucent shields over your compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Health experts say compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights are still safer because they contain nearly four times less mercury.