Those planet-saving light-bulbs


from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

  Just when you thought you influenced the climate and made friends with Al Gore and the warmist cabal:

light-bulb-candle-setHow would you view a man who’s stockpiled a lifetime supply of old-fashioned light bulbs because he believes low-energy bulbs could lead to blindness?”


A wise fellow. Fog of Chaos wrote about the potential problem a long time ago.

 “You might well dismiss him as dotty. But the man in question, John Marshall, is no crank. In fact, he’s one of Britain’s most eminent eye experts, the professor of ophthalmology at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. So concerned is he that he has boxes stacked with old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs at home. ‘I bulk bought incandescent lightbulbs before the Government made it illegal to import them,’ he says.

 Nor is he alone in his concerns about modern lightbulbs. Another eminent British professor, John Hawk, an expert in skin disease, is warning they may cause sunburn-like damage, premature aging and even skin cancer.

 He doesn’t have any low-energy bulbs in his house, explaining: ‘I have lots of old-style bulbs I bought in bulk when they were available.’

Incandescent bulbs had been the standard form of illumination for more than a century. But following an EU directive, the Government banned the import of 100-watt bulbs from 2009. This was followed by a ban on 60w bulbs in 2011 and a full ban on all ‘traditional’ bulbs in 2012.

The EU directive was aimed at cutting fuel and carbon emissions. The low-energy bulbs – or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), to give them their technical name – are said to use 80 per cent less electricity and to  last longer. Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs work by electrically heating a filament inside a glass globe filled with inert gas, so that it emits light.”

 “The concern is about some of the light rays emitted in high levels by these bulbs, says Professor Marshall.  Recent scientific evidence shows these specific rays are particularly damaging to human eyes and skin.“

 “Professor John Hawk, the retired head of the photobiology unit at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College, London, warns: ‘There is good evidence that the CFLs that have been foisted upon us emit radiation sufficient to cause damage to the skin if used close by for long enough.’

 He says the risk is particularly high if the bulb is a metre or less from your body, which is common as people use them in reading lamps. ‘There is evidence that demonstrates that the lamps can not only cause damage to skin, but also short-term symptoms such as sun rash and prickly heat, a condition that medically is called polymorphic light eruption.”

 “Low-energy bulbs are also known to cause trouble to people who have lupus, an auto-immune disorder that typically affects the skin, joints and internal organs. Irritation caused by ultraviolet light worsens the rashes, joint pain and fatigue associated with the disease.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, up to two-thirds of people with the condition are sensitive to CFLs.”

 And it is not all:

 “‘Migraines and epilepsy are also problems,’ says Professor Hawk. ‘I have seen 30 skin patients in my clinic who have been experiencing these problems linked to the bulbs.’ This may be because low-energy bulbs can flicker imperceptibly (incandescent bulbs flicker only when they are about to break).

 A 2013 study in the journal Neurology found that flickering lights are likely to trigger migraines in some sufferers. Flickering lights are also a trigger for epileptic fits.

 And more:

 “It’s also previously been reported that low-energy bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, raising concerns that if the glass is broken, this toxic substance could be released into the air or landfill. A study by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency found a broken low-energy bulb emits levels of the vapour up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area.

 “Another potential concern is that low-energy bulbs bought off the shelf vary considerably in the amount of dangerous spectrum ultraviolet light they emit, according to research at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, by Professor Harry Moseley, its head of photo-biology. ‘There appear to be significant problems with quality control in their manufacture,’ he says.”

 ‘Our testing has found that in a batch of ten CFLs from randomly selected makers, one may be significantly worse than  the rest, because, for example, it has a fault in its light-shielding.’”

 How lucky that Australia imports its lighbulbs from Communist China, famous for its rigorous quality control.

 “Dermatologist Professor Hawk acknowledges the efforts to improve the bulbs by providing clouded glass domes. ‘But we are not sure how improved they are,’ he says. He has been trying to lobby the EU to lift its ban on incandescent bulbs.

 ‘I have talked to the committee on light safety in Brussels about these concerns, but no one there seems to be interested in this,’ he says. ‘The EU was trying to be green by introducing CFLs, but they did not think of the health consequences. They are  very reluctant to reverse  its policies.‘”

 “Professor Moseley, ‘…their feeling is that it is the sufferers’ problem. In Brussels, the carbon emission targets take precedence.’ Eye expert Professor Marshall has a far simpler, if rather blunt, solution.

 ‘I would like to urge the manufacturers of these lightbulbs to get rid of them.’”


Read all the cheerful news here:


About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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4 Responses to Those planet-saving light-bulbs

  1. Sonny Boy says:

    The stupidity of those global warming simpletons!

  2. Laurie Beech says:

    If this is true, and the people indeed suffer medical injuries, would they be able to sue Gore, Flannery, and all the PC governments?

  3. Adme Levings says:

    What’s wrong in being in the dark? All scientists are.

  4. lighthouse says:

    …and that’s just the CFLs!
    The program manager at US Dept of Energy has recently acknowledged multiple problems with LED replacements – following other health agency and institution studies “How regulations are wrongly justified”
    14 points why light bulb ban arguments don’t hold up.

    There are 2 aspects to the ban on simple incandescent bulbs,
    the supposed society energy/emission savings,
    and the supposed consumer money savings.
    Both are lower for too many reasons to state here, but can be seen via the above link.

    It is rather odd to justify a ban merely on supposed consumer savings – Johnny Citizen can presumably judge himself what product he wants.
    A problematic aspect is that heat effect, full life cycle effects etc are very hard to ascertain – and are therefore ignored.
    Follow up studies should be done to see if a ban actually gave the media-friendly “million ton CO2″ etc savings – but of course regulating politicians are not concerned about follow-ups in case they are wrong ;-)

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