What about my new compact fluorescent bulbs?

From www.electricalpollution.com

People exposed to excessive “dirty” power may develop radio wave sickness. Clean power enters the home at 60 Hz. Electrical pollution is 60 Hz electricity polluted with high frequency signals or “dirty” power flowing on the wires and through the earth.

Compact fluorescent bulbs can be a significant source of exposure to high frequencies both transmitted and “dirty” power.

Compact fluorescent bulbs can be a significant source of exposure to high frequencies both transmitted and “dirty” power.
The letter to editor below has not been published in the New York Times (to the best of my knowledge), although it should have been. The publicity push to use compact fluorescent bulbs regardless of health risks whether mercury (see below for what to do if one breaks, it is quite alarming) or high frequency exposure, borders on the criminal because these risks are almost never mentioned by the news media and certainly are not emphasized when they are mentioned. Therefore, people cannot make informed choices and the bulbs are likely to be disposed of improperly.


New York Times,
Letter to the Editor;

The two articles that appeared in the January 10th, 2008 issue of the NYT on energy efficient lights [Any other Bright Ideas by Julie Schefo and Remaking the Condo with Light and Air by Sidney LeBlance] were both interesting but they failed to mention one very important point. Some of these bulbs emit radio frequency radiation. This radiation flows through the air and along electrical wires contributing to dirty electricity. Some packages even have a warning about the radio frequency saying this light may interfere with radio reception. Indeed this is something that most people can test with a portable radio on AM. As you bring the radio close to an energy efficient bulb that produces radio frequencies the radio will begin to buzz. This is known as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and is a concern for anyone using wireless technology such as mobile phones or wireless computers.

But the real problem is that these frequencies are making people sick. Three independent groups in the UK, including the British Association of Dermatologists, the Migraine Action Association, and Epilepsy Action, have reported illness among their members who have tried energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFL). The most common symptoms are headaches-including migraines, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, eyestrain, nausea and skin irritations.

Not all energy efficient bulbs are the same. Some do not contribute to dirty electricity and do not produce radio frequencies and this includes a few compact fluorescent lights, some LEDs (light emitting dioxides) and some halogen bulbs. Unfortunately most of the bulbs on the market will make people sick. Reducing green house gases is important but doing it with flawed technology that will make the user ill is not the right course of action. If governments are going to ban the energy-inefficient but electromagnetically clean incandescent bulb, then they should also ban bulbs that produce radio frequency pollution.

I would encourage anyone who has recently purchased energy efficient bulbs and has since developed any of the symptoms mentioned above to test the bulb for radiation with a portable radio and if the radio buzzes to return the bulb to the retail store for a full refund. Even if our government hasn’t done its homework, individual consumers can still make a difference.

Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc. Ph.D.
Environmental & Resource Studies,
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, K9J 7B8


The directions below should apparently apply to regular fluorescent bulbs as well, as I said above, not nearly enough is made of this so millions of compact and regular fluorescent bulbs are and have probably been landfilled annually.


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