Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Secondhand Light

Energy saving bulbs emit cancer causing chemicals it was claimed last night as new fears were raised about their safety.

Scientists said they should not be left on for long periods of time or placed close to a person's head because they release poisonous materials.

While it is already known that harmful amounts of Mercury are released if one of the new 'green' bulbs is broken, the latest research shows other carcinogenic chemicals are emitted when they are switched on.

The German research shows that the chemicals are released as a form of steam.

The harmful substances include phenol - a poison injected by the Nazis to kill thousands of concentration camp victims during World War II - and the human toxins naphthalene and styrene.
I take it they'll be banned in pubs and clubs, then?

UPDATE: Thanks to Katabasis in the comments, the Telegraph also carries the story with some interesting quotes.

Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin's Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.”

[Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said:] "They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head.”
Won't somebody please think of the bar staff!


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, and since sitting down all day is today claimed to be several times more carcinogen than passive smoking, we can look forward to compulsory vertical drinking in pubs and the banning of call centres.

Curmudgeon said...

Umm, they're supposed to be left on for long periods of time as if you keep switching them on and off you don't get the benefit of increased bulb life. Plus it takes them 10 minutes to reach full brightness anyway :-(

WV = "dronish" :|

Snowdon said...

It's the Daily Mail for Christ's sake. Of course they cause cancer!

Anonymous said...

But, Snowdon, if it was really the Daily Mail, they'd make house prices drop as well.

Michael Fowke said...

Fortunately, I have 80 or 90 of the old bulbs stockpiled. They won't last forever, but, hopefully, long enough to see the EU crash and burn.

Anonymous said...

There are stories coming out of America where light bulbs have been banned in some localities and these new kind the only legal ones sold and the new ones are exploding and causing fires, not safe to be left on unattended while not in the house keeping an eye on them, they are that explosive on top of the other bad things about them, including toxicity of the mercury powder inside.

PT Barnum said...

Given the wretched things have a frequency/flicker rate which induces epileptic seizures (in this house anyway) I have about 200 incandescent bulbs stockpiled. Hopefully enough to see me or the EU off the planet. All those warnings on the news about flash photography but the EU is apparently trying to kill me!

Smoking Hot said...

"Scientists said they should not be left on for long periods of time" ... like when it's dark?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Curmudgeon & SH: Yes, I laughed at that part too. So we're meant to switch them off regularly for the good of our health. And the reason we have to use them in the first place is to save energy ... so we don't have our lights switched off regularly due to power cuts.

Okaaay.

Katabasis said...

If you don't trust the daily fail, give the Telegraph article a go.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Worth an update, that. :)

Katabasis said...

Whoa - hold the presses! - check THIS out.

Make sure you read the whole thing - amongst other unknown dangers according to the Maine state’s Department of Environmental Protection investigation it looks like the actual amount of mercury released by a broken bulb has been underestimated astronomically.

Anonymous said...

"Secondhand Light"

Perfect title, love it!