Prof Havas – Energy-saving light bulbs ”˜are threat to epileptics’

  1. Dr. Magda Havas Thu, 15 Nov 2007 10:41:50 CST

    We are in the process of completing a study with these bulbs. So far everyone of the ones we’ve tested, including full spectrum “healthy” compact fluorescent bulbs produce dirty electricity although at different frequencies and intensities. The results will be made available to the public so people can decide for themselves which bulbs they want to buy for their home.

    There was a story in the Daily Mail earlier this year. See below. Although some thing it is the quality of light that epileptics are responding to, I think it is the RF radiation.

    You can get more information about dirty electricity at the following websites:

    Energy-saving light bulbs ”˜are threat to epileptics’
    By ELEANOR MAYNE – More by this author » Last updated at 10:41am on 24th June 2007

    The ”˜green’ light bulbs which will be made compulsory in British homes can cause people with epilepsy to experience symptoms similar to the early stages of a fit.

    The charity Epilepsy Action says that those with the condition are complaining of dizziness, loss of focus and discomfort after being exposed to light from the energy-saving bulbs. The cause of the problem is not known as the bulbs do not flicker at the rate that would normally cause ill-effects.

    But the issue has become prominent because of EU plans to phase out all traditional bulbs within two years and replace them with low-energy versions. Almost half a million people in the UK suffer from epilepsy and the Government has acknowledged there may be a problem.

    Answering a parliamentary question, Health Minister Ivan Lewis said: It is known some people with epilepsy may be affected by energy-saving light bulbs. We have made no assessment of the number of such people affected.

    • Why eco lightbulbs won’t cure global warming

    Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox last night called on the Government to investigate the health effects and devise a policy that will enable sufferers to acquire these bulbs without ill-effects. In March, Tony Blair and fellow EU leaders agreed to phase out old-fashioned bulbs in private homes by 2009 to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. It is likely there will be a ban on the sale of the older bulbs.

    Epilepsy Action confirmed they had taken calls from people complaining of problems with the new bulbs. A spokesman said: ”˜There are no reports of seizures – it is more reports of discomfort similar to the symptoms that come before a seizure. The research into this is still at an early stage. It has just come to our attention and we are starting to look into it.’

    Dr Arnold Wilkins, a professor of psychology at Essex University, came up with one possible explanation. He said: ”˜The new lights have an uneven spectral distribution. The white light is made up of a red and blue peak, rather than all wavelengths. That may make it difficult to see differences between colours and might affect people.’

    There have also been complaints of discomfort from people with lupus.

    In the UK there are about 16,000 sufferers of the condition, which causes swelling and pain as the body attacks its own tissues.

    The Department of Health said: ”˜This is a developing area and we have no further comment.’


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