Energy-saving bulbs ‘can cause migraines’ warn experts | Mail Online. By JENNY HOPE and DAVID DERBYSHIRE
Energy saving light bulbs can trigger migraines, health experts and charities warned last night.
They have been inundated with complaints about the fluorescent bulbs, which are due to become compulsory in homes within four years.
Campaigners are calling for the Government to allow an opt-out for people with health problems so they can continue to use old-style bulbs.
The warning follows concerns that eco-bulbs can trigger dizziness, loss of focus and discomfort among people with epilepsy.
There have also been complaints from people with lupus – an auto-immune disease causing many symptoms including pain.
Low energy lightbulbs are miniature versions of the fluorescent strip lights common in offices and kitchens. The latest generation are the size of conventional incandescent bulbs with a filament, but use just a quarter of the energy.
Although they are often five times the cost of old-fashioned bulbs, they use around a quarter of the energy and can pay for themselves within months. Critics, however, say the technology is still not up to scratch. Many complain the light is cold or green, and they take up to a minute to warm up properly, and because they are fluorescent, they flicker.
The Migraine Action Association said there was growing concern about the links between the bulbs and severe headaches.
The charity’s Paul Jansen said: “For some people a migraine attack can be triggered by fluorescent lights, video screens, stroboscopic effects and flashing lights.
“Most of the currently available low energy light bulbs are based on fluorescent light technology.
“We hope that the Government will allow regular light bulbs still to be available to those who need them.’
The Government has acknowledged low energy bulbs could pose a problem.
In a written parliamentary answer, Health Minister Ivan Lewis said: “It is known some people with epilepsy may be affected by energy saving light bulbs.”
The Lighting Association denied that flicker was a problem with modern energy saving bulbs.
“Compact fluorescent lamps give a constant, flicker-free, nonstroboscopic light,” said spokesman Jo Jackson.
She warned against poor quality, cheap lamps, saying: “A small number of cases have been reported by people who suffer from reactions to certain types of linear (straight line) fluorescent lamps.
“These were almost certainly triggered by old technology.”
The Migraine Action Association is on http://www.migraine.org.uk, or phone 01536 461333
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-505571/Energy-saving-bulbs-cause-migraines-warn-experts.html#ixzz1SgKSX91s
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