Ever heard of dirty electricity? What about UV radiation from light bulbs? This news has been going around for some time but I just stumbled upon it.

Here is the deal. CFL light bulbs (like the picture at left) can affect you and your child’s health. Here are some of the symptoms people claim come from these lights:

  • Headaches – Including Migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Being Tired
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Skin Rashes
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

I’m not interested in my kids or myself having these problems. I doubt you look forward to your kids having these issues either.

There are three main issues with the CFL light bulbs. The first is that they contain mercury. Not much, but the bulb uses mercury vapor to create the light. If it breaks, you have a mercury leak which you are supposed to know ahead of time how to deal with. Read the fine print on the bulb’s box. It will likely send you to a website where you are told that if the bulb breaks you need to clear the house.

Second issue – these bulbs can produce UV light that is not filtered. Some people have had terrible skin rashes as a result of being around these lights. Not all CFL bulbs produce the same UV rays but there is no way to know if the one you bought produces more UV or not.

Third issue – these bulbs can produce high levels of dirty electricity. What is dirty electricity? The best way to begin to understand it is to watch the first video below.

This video highlights the issues with these types of light bulbs. As you watch, listen to how it was affecting school kids.

The Dark Side of CFLs

The bottom line is that these bulbs may be harming your child in some way. Are the risks worth the energy savings? The United States is implementing a transition between the years 2012 – 2014 to require more energy efficient bulbs to be sold. Incandescent light bulbs (the “normal” bulbs we’ve grown up with) will be phased out. Canada and Russia are planning to have the transition done by 2012, and other countries have already made the move.

Here is a four-part Canadian video series that goes into more depth on the problem. I encourage you to watch them all so you can make a better informed decision about whether you chose to use these lights.

Dirty Electricity – Part 1 – Rays of Rash

Listen for the warning from a British scientist near the end of the video.

Dirty Electricity – Part 2 – Dirty Energy

Listen for what Dr. Lawrence C. Newman, M.D. has to say about his experience with CFLs

Dirty Electricity – Part 3 – Reaction to Rays

Listen for which light bulbs are the light of the future.

Dirty Electricity – Part 4 – Electric Shock

Listen for why some people think there was a high rate of cancer among school teachers at a certain high school.

So if you made it this far through all the videos, pat yourself on the back for being concerned enough for your health and the health of your kids to take the time. This might not be an earth shattering way to help your kid realize their full potential, however it may help. Imagine being exposed to this almost 24 hours a day. What effects could it potentially have on a kid?

Okay, so you might still be wondering about the savings these light bulbs offer. Well, for the average American home it is less then $150 per year. Not such a savings when compared with the possible risks.[pullquote]As an experiment, I replaced all the CFLs in my house today with incandescent bulbs. I am curious if I will notice any difference in the coming week. I have had more anxiety and felt more stressed since putting the CFLs in. But I didn’t associate the two until I became aware of the CFLs by watching the first video I mentioned here.[/pullquote]

As mentioned in the videos, Health Canada completed their study and released their findings which say that overall CFLs are okay. However, a small minority of the population might have adverse reactions to them. The question is who to believe. Also, just because you do not notice an impact on your life, how good are more UV rays and electric magnetic fields on your body?

Some people are just more sensitive to these things. Also, be aware that extra-talented or gifted people tend to be even more sensitive to their environment. They may have a tendency to be affected to a more noticeable degree.

What alternatives do you have once your country removes incandescent light bulbs from the stores? LED lights, as mentioned in one of these videos, are the light of the future. They have the ability to last a long time and use very little energy. However, LED light bulbs are still quite expensive. The good thing though is that as demand for them increases the price should come down. Another option is to use halogen lights which will likely also meet the new “energy-saving” standards being imposed. And finally, it is possible that companies will invent other light bulb options.

What do you think? Is it really that big of a deal or are these reports just hyping it up?

Image Credit(s): MorgueFile
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