Like wrinkles? You'll love fluorescent light bulbs!
Scientists now realize that fluorescent light bulbs emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is known to cause wrinkles and other signs of photoaging skin damage, such as blotchy skin pigmentation. Many years ago, I figured that out on my own after noticing I'd get a mild sunburn after working in my shop when it was illuminated by fluorescent bulbs but not when I'd be in there for an even longer time with the lights off, with illumination provided by light filtering in through the windows and especially the open 16-foot-wide door. (Parenthetical comment: Since sunlight contains UV, I suspect the diffused sunlight entering my garage was largely scrubbed of UV by trees, grass, and other plants.) I'd also not burn when I worked under even brighter incandescent lighting.
Thus, you should add UV light exposure to the list of problems attributable to fluorescent lights, such as almost inevitable exposure to highly toxic mercury (see my article, How fluorescent bulbs turn us into sheeple/Where has all the brainpower gone?). If you continue to use fluorescent lights, you can minimize your UV exposure by:
- Choosing bulbs with a lower correlated color temperature (the phosphor composition of a bulb affects its emission spectrum).
- Using fewer bulbs to reduce the illuminance (less bulbs = less UV, of course), which has a secondary benefit: as indicated by the Kruithof curve, humans perceive lower color temperatures as more pleasant at dimmer illumination levels (although, as with many other things, there's low and there is too low).
- Add UV-filtering tube guards. Standard polycarbonate tube guards filter some but not nearly enough of the UV spectrum, but additives molded into UV-blocking polycarbonate guards can filter out almost all of it without appreciably affecting the perceived color.
- Using standard UV precautions: wearing sunscreen, UV-blocking clothing (including a hat), and UV-blocking eyeglasses whether or not you need visual correction.
It's sad that we need all these precautions (which pale in comparison to those necessitated by fluorescent light mercury content), but Americans are led by politicians who are either too ignorant or too evil, so they make bad decisions that harm us. In this case, they're giving us more UV and hence more skin cancer and more skin photoaging, including wrinkles.
- Harmful Effects of CFL Bulbs to Skin; Energy-Efficient Bulbs Safest When Placed Behind Additional Glass Cover based on The Effects of UV Emission from CFL Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in Vitro.
- An estimation of squamous cell carcinoma risk from ultraviolet radiation emitted by fluorescent lamps
Comment: The risk is likely even greater than what this report suggested because real-world fluorescent lamp exposure can result in higher UV emissions than in this study.