Did Congress Legislate Skin Cancer for All Americans?

Several years ago, a push began in Congress to make incandescent light bulbs illegal.  The measure was designed to force Americans to use the more energy efficient CFL (compact florescent light bulbs).  Supposedly, CFL bulbs use less electricity and last longer.  However, I find that I have had to replace some CFL bulbs almost as often as incandescent bulbs.  I still have incandescent bulbs that have been in use for many years and still burning brightly.

I, like many consumers, resisted the forced legislation more because of cost more than anything else and I hate it when Congress keeps interfering with the rights of the individual to make decisions for themselves.  On average a CFL bulb costs in excess of $1.50 to $2 each whereas incandescent bulbs can run as little as 25¢ each.

Initially, the law to ban the incandescent bulbs was supposed to take effect in January of 2012, starting with 100 watt bulbs.  A last minute rider attached to another piece of key legislation that was passed in December of 2011 gave the incandescent bulbs a 9 month stay of execution.

Knowing the legislation was inevitable, major manufactures of light bulbs have already switched their production efforts to CFL bulbs and in many stores you can’t even find incandescent bulbs any longer.

But have you ever wondered just how safe CFL bulbs are?

In 2008, a study was conducted in Europe that found that CFL bulbs do emit UVB and traces of UVC radiation.  They concluded that prolonged exposure to CFL bulbs from a fairly close distance could meet or even exceed the workplace limit that was established to preserve employees’ retinal and skin damage.

A more recent study by the New York State Stem Cell Science and Stony Brook University in New York has come up with similar results as the earlier European study.  This study focused on finding out if and how bad the UV rays from CFL bulbs affected skin cells.  Lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich from Stony Brook University explained:

“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation.  Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”

TiO2 is a chemical used in most sunscreens or sunblocks.  When the sunscreen was applied to the skin and then exposed to the old fashioned incandescent light bulbs, there were no harmful effects found.  Exposing the skin to CFL bulbs in close proximity for a prolonged time did reveal UV damage to the healthy skin.   Rafailovich added:

“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances and that they are safest when placed behind an additional glass cover.”

While the study did not specify any particular dangers, I couldn’t help but wonder about desk lamps or pole lamps that people use all the time.  Are they exposing themselves to a greater risk of skin damage and possibly skin cancer?

Hence I find myself asking the question if Congress’s actions of outlawing incandescent light bulbs will in effect legislate greater incidences of skin cancer, especially with fair skinned office workers?



  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IBPI63ABT264USBDALCN4F7UKY billy2

    have you ever seen a bill, or a product, or a mandate, or an EXE O................WORK?? look at the post office, look at medicare, look at social security, so my answer would be yes mandated this ridicules bulbs, that if broken must be handled with care???????????? WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU????????????

    • Bob

      Don't forget about the FDA that will approve some drug or something and later tell us it will kill you or make you sick.

  • http://granitegrok.com/author/mprogers Mike Rogers

    Is That a Suntan, or Just a Bad Case of CFL-Burn?

  • agbjr

    I will not use CFL lights in my home, period. The federal government has no right to legislate what kind of lighting I use in my home whether it be CFLs, incandescent bulbs, or even gaslight. Two years ago I began buying cartons of 100 watt incandescent bulbs and today have a stockpile likely to last decades. I am currently buying cartons of 75 watt and 60 watt bulbs as well as high-wattage three-way ones. I wish I could find 200 watt incandescents. The feds and media do not want you to know about the hundreds of century-old Edison incandescent bulbs still burning after one-hundred years of use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.sluszka Karen Sluszka

    These new light bulbs have mercury in them. This was taken out of Thermometers because of this.

    • The Truth

      Yep. My neighbor uses them and she has to dispose of them in some special way she told me; can't just toss them out in the trash safely. I got one of these CFL for free (although we know nothing is actually free) from our electric company and it was no where near bright enough and lasted maybe have the time of my incandescent light bulbs. The CFL bulbs are crap and the government must somehow be profiting from them since they keep pushing them so hard, maybe another kickback to an obama supporter.

      • retiredli

        They should have a bin for disposal in front of our congressman's houses.

      • MayPA

        You know people will just toss them in the regular trash, than we will have mercury filled landfills.

  • Flowers

    Unintended consequences raises its ugly little head again.

  • Javajoy

    What I don't like about the CFL bulbs are the headaches I seem to be getting. Of course skin cancer scares me too. I am sick and tired of the Government interfering in every area of my life or so it seems.

  • StandsWithTruth

    When they said that they were going to stop incandescent bulb production, I bought a basement full of incandescent bulbs. Enough to last me a lifetime...

  • Pat

    I am so very tired of the government telling me what I can and cannot do. Rush said years ago that first they are going after smokers, then it will be the fat people. He sure hit the nail on the head. People have got to start waking up, our freedoms are at stake.

    • i2luvmyusa

      I recommend that the WH the Senate and the Congress be force by the pubic to use this lighting 100% for a year. It may be our only way to clean house!

    • jen

      When we abuse our "freedoms" we lose our freedoms. If people cannot manage their own weight with self-discipline, or quit smoking, etc., then someone is going to do it for them. We don't operate in a vacuum. My mom died of diabetes and heart disease, both obesity related, and my dad died of lung cancer from smoking. The cost of dis-ease management for them? You can probably figure it out... I'm a true "conservative", and also a Bible believer...both covenants.

    • Peter Dublin

      why the energy saving measures don't work anyway... http://tonn.ie

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1011557190 Patti Smith Stenger

    I will not use CFL light bulbs. GE can kiss my rosy butt because I will not buy their products anymore either...

    • Doug

      GE had nothing to do with the mandate. In fact the most profitable part of their light bulb business disappeared with the ban.This is big government mandating and private industry must comply!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MNFDGPAH7KU45C4UUNWJ5V4YS4 cwo

        Sorry if you check you will find that GE invented or mass produced these bulbs and lobbied for the the law

  • yadontwannaknow

    CFL lights are mandatory in europe and have been introduced without the public's concent nor has it prouven safe !
    CFL lights are the reason I suffered from occular migrain headakes and retinal damages to my eyes .. I used to work at night during the tourist season .. not any more !
    For your information , the tungston filaments are being used to fill fragmentation bombs as well as a means to defraud holders of gold billions by having them inserted in the form of rods .....

  • Captain Ken

    I replaced the incandescent s over the bathroom sink/mirror with CFL's, my wife suddenly started getting sick and faint during her morning getting ready routine. After a couple of months we tried putting the incandescent s back in and cured her. I too, have found that CFL's lifetime to be greatly exaggerated

  • Rosebud

    I hope there is enough push back to the manufacturers here in this country that we start the manufact...again of the incandescent. This is another thing to get new legislation passed to repeal this stupid law.

  • Jill

    I have had a bad itching problem in my arm ever since these light bulbs have been installed in all my lighting sources. Anyone else? It gets so bad that I literally dig into my skin and bleed. I am a light skinned swede.

  • The_American_Way

    My wife bought and horded incandescent bulbs and stored them in a cabinet in the garage. We will never need a CFL light bulb for my lifetime.

  • Max

    Look at the medical studies since the 1960's regarding florescent lighting. Articles indicate that florescent lighting is a major cause of depression in the classroom and workplace.

  • Ree

    I am saving all my burned out CFL bulbs, putting them in a box, and am going to deliver them to the Demorats party office, they wanted them, now they can have them.

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    You will also find that CFL also produce FAR more electromagnetic radiation, which affects some people drastically. If you want to spend the bucks for a detection meter, you will find 'hot spots' all over your house, particularly around EVERY flourescent lamp, old style or curly bulb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMF_meter
    click the pic.

  • MidnightDStroyer

    This article mentions only ONE articular concern about health hazards in the equation.

    Government had already outlawed the use of florescent lighting in the outdoor lighting fixtures located on government property. The reasoning being that, the gasses & other chemicals released should the florescent light break, poses a hazard to the surrounding environment AND the cleanup procedures include specially-equipped personnel for Hazmat disposal.

    So what reason could there be for the government to FORCE indoor, individual, private living spaces to use these hazards to life & health when the government itself WON'T use them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.sutton.3304 Jerry Sutton

    Leave it up to our government to screw things up....even with a simple light bulb,
    they can and have made a mess out of our lives.

  • dad666


  • sean murry

    they can stick those light bulbs where the sun dont shine,you are not forcing me on this silly crap.

  • Robert

    This whole business has absolutely nothing to do with energy savings or how long a lightbulb lasts. Simple mathematics who was Obama's chief economic advisor? The CEO of General Electric, who just happens to be the largest manufacturer of these bulbs. You know, the same guy who made 7 billion in profit and paid absolutely zero in taxes. Not to mention the environmental hazard presented by these bulbs look at the warning label and see what you have to do to dispose of a broken bolt. Most landfills will even take them anymore. It's just another government kickback to a major corporation.

  • spyderdalton

    You have to pass a bill to find out how safe it is...

  • Work2SnowSki

    Next it will be the even more expensive LED bulbs and even their "special' fixtures to fix this problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gmallast Gary Mallast

    We don't need to be so esoteric.

    I had a CFL suddenly catch fire when I switched on the light. Fortunately it was in a glass fixture to it didn't burn the house down. But I have found since that this is quite common.

    A Maryland fire chief warned both his firemen and the general citizens that the mercury in the CFLs can cause serious injury. The article he wrote included pictures of the foot of a man who stepped barefoot on one, breaking it. Significant areas of his foot were poisoned.

  • Schrecken

    I have a bathroom fixture that takes 6 globe-style bulbs and a couple of years ago I decided to replace the incandescent ones (which were 60 watts each) with CFLs, and guess what - the fixture was unable to supply enough starting current to light them all! So now what do I do? I'm trying to get enough incandescents to last for a long time but if not then I guess I'd have to replace my light fixture, which is an extra expense...see what happens when the gov't meddles in things?!?!?

    Also, all florescent lights emit UV radiation - even the "traditional" tube-style ones; after all, a "black light" is just a florescent tube w/o the normal phosphor coating. It isn't good to get a lot of close exposure to a black light and I'm sure it's the same for basically any florescent light. Then there's tanning beds, which they tell us are bad for you (and tax in Obamacare) - but yet they want us to buy CFLs... go figure!

  • Vancouver1941

    This is one part of my life the feds will NOT control. I have stocked up on every size possible of the non CFL bulbs.The people who know nothing about this restriction will find out the hard way when they pay ridiculous prices and the hazards involved when they explode or break and people and pets will die when these bulbs explode.I am sure everyone will take these burnt out bulbs directly to the hazardous waste sites as instructed in the epa rules. There are 3 pages of what not to do with these CFL bulbs on there website.

  • Carol

    GMOs and light bulbs with mercury. Harmful chemicals and harmones to keep you fat. A war on natural foods at the highest levels. Yep. I would say Congress is bought off and doesnt give a snot about us anymore. Besides , making us sick promotes the medical profession. And with forced insurance, wow, they make a bundle.

  • notoshariah

    I got rid of the CFL bulbs and stocked up on the florescent bulbs. The CFLs were too irregular in shape -especially when you want to use a lampshade on top. How ever I have 2 very good CFL's serving as house lights by entry doors outside and they have been there 10 to 15 yrs. -I figure if they are out there and doin' a good job they they can stay.

  • Peter Dublin

    The Deception behind the Arguments used to ban Light Bulbs and other Products
    13 points, referenced - including why the supposed energy saving are not there

  • Peter Dublin

    Essence Ideology and the Banning of safe-to-use products:

    "To see the advantage of what is created as a reason for existence,
    rather than look for a disadvantage as a reason for destruction.

    Progress is welcomed - not feared.
    Progress brings more choice and more advantages, a progress helped - not hindered - by allowing competition against that which already exists."

  • http://www.facebook.com/FloydThElder Floyd McWilliams

    Once again I am reminded of a law that is as powerful as the law of gravity: The law of unintended consequences. It has a corollary: Anything government mandates will be bad for your wallet, your conscience, your health, two of these, or all three.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MNFDGPAH7KU45C4UUNWJ5V4YS4 cwo

    The idea of skin cancer from light bulbs can make you think twice about how to use them but they don't give you much of a choice. Also think about this if you break it you also can expose your self to Mercury contamination. Isn't it great that the Government can do this with out giving us the choice of what we want rather then being forced by lack of choice of what we use. What happen to our freedoms. We need change but not this kind.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2BWWDNFRM67K7AIWBYBGUGMPBE ceseme

    Not to mention the potential of mercury contamination...