Fluorescent Bulbs Innocent-Looking Enemies
As you probably know, we’re surrounded by health enemies. Trouble is, they seem like such a part of everyday life, that we don’t have a clue we’re in trouble.
Today I want to talk about an enemy born in 1974, fluorescent lights.
First, it was long tubes; now it’s curlycue bulbs. Trouble, I say you’ve got trouble-because they all contain mercury. And they sit around giving off mercury vapors, even when they’re off.
Well, if mercury fillings are a problem, and we can’t have mercury thermometers any more, what’s with mercury vapors floating through homes, schools, stores, offices, etc.?
Is it a problem? Oh, indeed. And if just sitting around wafting mercury into our bodies when the lights are off, fluorescent lights step it up when we turn them on.
“Oh, Pshaw!” you say! It’s just a dab of mercury that couldn’t hurt anybody! Well, listen to the instructions on what to do when a curly CFL bulb gets broken:
• Open window and leave room for 15 minutes • Do NOT vacuum • Do NOT wash contaminated clothing, etc. Wrap clothing securely and discard. • Wear rubber gloves • If broken in carpet, replace carpet
And there’s trouble even when the bulbs die a natural death. It turns out you’re not supposed to put them in the trash, from whence they can contaminate the truck that picks them up or the dump site where they end up. You’re supposed to take them to a hazardous waste site.
You betcha! Drive across town and hand a curly bulb to some guy in a HazMat suit.
And mercury’s not the whole story. Not nearly.
Fluorescent bulbs do not glow; they flicker. Well, maybe fast enough so your eyes don’t notice, but never fast enough to fake out your brain. And take it from me, your brain doesn’t like all that flickering.
Flickering can cause: • Seizures • Loss of concentration • Hyperactivity • Fatigue
Then, there’s the problem that fluorescent lights create “dirty” electricity.
Electric current shows up as a sharp, undulating lines, or wavelengths, per color. With fluorescent lights, above and below the line you see what look like long, ragged smudges. They’re called “high frequency transients.”
Besides interfering with electronic equipment in the building, high frequency transients whack the endocrine system something fierce.
• They mess up the pineal gland – Less melatonin, poor sleep
• And they mess up the adrenals – As in cortisol levels. Did you know the adrenals use melatonin to do some of what they do? • Whack your immune system, making you more susceptible to disease, including autoimmune diseases.
And they also cause:
• Weight gain
• Cancer risk
• Increase in mistakes, errors in judgment
• Increased agoraphobia symptoms
• Worsens hyperactivity
Cool white fluorescent bulbs
And there’s more! “Cool white” fluorescent bulbs also: • Increase dental cavities • Cause underdeveloped male sexual organs in little boys • Worsen the whack to the endocrine system
Well, who knew?
Your government in action was clueless when they mandated compact fluorescent bulbs. And never content to leave bad enough alone, now they’ve outlawed 75 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs.
I hope you stocked up on incandescents. They’re safe. LEDs may be, too, but we don’t know yet.
As much as possible, avoid fluorescent bulbs in your home.
As for stores, schools, office buildings, factories, hospitals and who knows where else, it’s said covering fixtures (so you can’t see the bulbs themselves) fixes everything. I don’t know about “fixes everything,” but if fluorescent lights are there to stay, it would be nice if they were covered. Some help is better than no help.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.