Environmental and Health Concerns Associated with Compact Fluorescent Lights

The Danger of CFL Bulbs

John Cockburn,
Director, Equipment Division,
Office of Energy Efficiency,
Department of Natural Resources,
930 Carling Avenue (CEF, Building 1, Observatory Crescent),
2nd Floor, Room 25,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y3
(tel.: 613-996-4359; email: equipment@nrcan.gc.ca)

Re: Canada Gazette, Part I, Regulations Amending the Energy Efficiency Regulations

I am delighted that Natural Resources Canada is considering a two-year delay for banning incandescent light bulbs.

In 2008, Tom Hutchinson and I sent a petition to the Auditor General of Canada that is attached. It outlines the key problems with CFL bulbs and includes the following:

1. Mercury content a concern during breakage inside buildings (homes, schools, offices, etc) and disposal in waste dumps contributes to the global load of mercury. It is also contributing to ill health among many Chinese workers. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6211261.ece

2. CFL emit UV radiation and Health Canada has already issued a warning that people should sit further away and use the light bulbs for less than 2 hours at a time to minimize their UV exposure. Some bulbs now have a double envelope, which does reduce the UV considerably, but many bulbs still generate UV radiation.

3. CFL bulbs generate radio frequency radiation that flows along electrical wires and contributes to poor power quality also known as dirty electricity. Dirty electricity has been linked to ill health, increased blood sugar among diabetics who are electrically sensitive, increased tremors and difficulty walking among those with Multiple Sclerosis, and problems with student behaviour in schools. All of this is properly referenced in the attached Environmental Petition sent to the Auditor General of Canada.

4. CFL bulbs generate radio frequency radiation that can interfere with marine wireless communication and some GE bulbs have this warning on the package.

5. A recent study in Germany documented release of carcinogenic substances from CFL bulbs including styrene. While this needs to be replicated, this is yet another possible toxin released into the indoor environment. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8462626/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-contain-cancer-causing-chemicals.html

6. CFL bulbs are making people ill. This includes those who have migraine headaches, epilepsy, those with electrosensitivity, and those who have skin problems. Details are provided in the attached report.

If the government waits for an additional two years, light emitting diode (LED) technology will have improved in terms of light quality and intensity and the price will have dropped as did the price of CFLs when they first came on the market.

Canadians are attached to their incandescent light bulbs and it makes sense to use light bulbs that will add to the heating of rooms especially during the long Canadian winters. CFL technology is deeply flawed and it was a mistake for the government to tell people what type of light bulbs they should or should not use. There are alternative ways to alter choice without banning a product. I would urge the government to remove the ban all-together but extending it for an additional two years makes sense because it will give Canadians a choice with technology that is likely to be even more energy efficient without the side effects of CFL bulbs.

Please confirm receipt of this email.

Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc. Ph.D.
Environmental & Resource Studies,
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, K9J 7B8
phone: 705 748-1011 x 7882
fax: 705 748-1569
http://www.magdahavas.com (general)
http://www.magdahavas.org (academic)

Environmental and Health Concerns Associated with Compact Fluorescent Lights

New Method for Measuring Parkinson s Disease Prevalence Reveals Sharp Increase in Israel

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2011) - In a new study published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Parkinson s Disease, Israeli researchers report that by tracking pharmacy purchases of anti-Parkinson drugs they could estimate the number of Parkinson s disease (PD) cases in a large population. The study identified a sharp rise in PD prevalence from 170/100,000 in 2000 to 256/100,000 in 2007 in Israel, which warrants further investigation.



Medlock Neighborhood Plans to Fight Cell Tower Proposal


A proposed T-Mobile cell phone tower at Medlock Elementary is being fought from many angles by Medlock Area Neighborhood Association members.

By Emma Harger

A recent T-Mobil mock-up of the proposed cell phone tower on the...


Your Own Health and Fitness

Here is an audio of a program in Calif. discussing how people can protect their legal rights against infringement by wireless technology.

Attorney Larry Bragman, is Mayor of the town of Fairfax in Marin County, California, where he introduced and authored Fairfax s 2010 groundbreaking Smart Meter Moratorium. Josh Hart is the director of Stop Smart Meters, a journalist and activist who is leading a citizen revolt against the roll of of wireless utility meters. They both join the show to discuss how citizen s can protect their civil rights, privacy and health with the proliferation of wireless technologies.

Direct link to the show, available until July 12, is http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/71058


Smart Meter alternatives: Are wired transmissions better than wireless?

Planet Thrive

People around the country are protesting the mandatory placement of wireless 'smart' meters on their homes by electric utility companies. Citing serious health effects, privacy concerns and other issues, they are requesting 'opt-out' offers by their ...


National Audit Office slams UK s smart meter roll out plan


CKNW May 11 - BC Hydro Smart Meters


CFL Mercury amounts

July 6, 2011. Finally someone measured the mercury content of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs!

We have been told that CFL bulbs contain 0.5 mg of mercury and that lower mercury-content bulbs will be produced in the future, yet many bulbs exceed this value as shown in the article below.

Li,Y. and L. Jin. 2011. Environmental Release of Mercury from Broken Compact Fluorescent Lamps, ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE. 28 (10), 5 pp. Click here for pdf with links and here for abstract.

The total amount of mercury in CFLs ranged from 0.1 to 3.6 mg.

What does this mean?

Lets' look at the water quality guidelines for mercury as a comparison.

The maxiumum concentration of total mercury in drinking water is 1.0 micro gram per litre. That number is 0.001 mg mercury per litre of water. Therefore the mercury content of a CFL bulb, at the nominal 0.5 mg per bulb, is 500 time higher than the concentration in a litre of drinking water!

Is there anyone out there who is a watch dog for this product or can CFL manufacturers do anything they want? We don t allow lead paint on toys from China yet we import light bulbs that contain mercury! This is not a bright idea for us, for the environment, or for the Chinese workers. Click http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6211261.ece to read ?Green? lightbulbs poison workers, Hundreds of factory staff are being made ill by mercury used in bulbs destined for the West.

To read more, visit: http://www.magdahavas.com/2011/07/06/mercury-in-broken-cfl-bulbs-can-exceed-safe-exposure-levels-for-humans/

Dr Magda Havas

Real Truth Behind EU Con Over Energy Saving Bulbs


Opinion: Energy-efficient bulbs - they are causing headaches for many of us

As the reader who reported daily migraine attacks noted, 'will the time come when you have to have a physicians? prescription to purchase a 100-watt bulb? Will you have to get special authority from Pharmacare to have them in your house?'


Magda Havas

CFL Safety recalls




Look at all the other electrical safety problems:


The CFL choice

Jerusalem Post

CFLs emit noteworthy levels of electromagnetic radiation, including radio... If a bulb breaks at home, its fragments are dangerous to bare skin and need ...


Informant: Martin Weatherall


The War on Incandescent Lightbulbs



Study: ''Fluorescent Light Bulbs Emit High Levels Of UV Radiation''


Olle Johansson, professor
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm


SBU Study Reveals Harmful Effects of CFL Bulbs to Skin




More about the theme:


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