NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Like wrinkles? You'll love fluorescent light bulbs!

woman with and without wrinkles

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:

  1. Choosing bulbs with a lower correlated color temperature (the phosphor composition of a bulb affects its emission spectrum).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

a daughter and (apparently) her grandmother, showing how wrinkles affect appearance

Related topics

1. How fluorescent bulbs turn us into sheeple
2. Where has all the brainpower gone?

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

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