Did Congress Legislate Skin Cancer for Americans?
In 2008, a study was conducted in Europe that found that CFL bulbs do emit UVB and traces of UVC radiation. They concluded that prolonged exposure to CFL bulbs from a fairly close distance could meet or even exceed the workplace limit that was established to preserve employees’ retinal and skin damage.
A more recent study by the New York State Stem Cell Science and Stony Brook University in New York has come up with similar results as the earlier European study. This study focused on finding out if and how bad the UV rays from CFL bulbs affected skin cells. Lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich from Stony Brook University explained:
“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation. Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”
TiO2 is a chemical used in most sunscreens or sunblocks. When the sunscreen was applied to the skin and then exposed to the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs, there were no harmful effects found. Exposing the skin to CFL bulbs in close proximity for a prolonged time did reveal UV damage to the healthy skin. Rafailovich added:
“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs. Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”
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