Posted On Friday, July 20, 2012 at 09:05:50 AM
Ateam of Stony Brook University researchers looked into the potential impact of healthy human skin tissue (in vitro) being exposed to ultraviolet rays emitted from compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
The results were published in the journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. The researchers, led by Miriam Rafailovich, collected CFL bulbs from different locations and then measured the amount of UV emissions and the integrity of each bulb’s phosphor coatings.
Results revealed significant levels of UV, which appeared to originate from cracks in the phosphor coatings in all CFL bulbs.
They took the same bulbs and studied the effects of exposure on healthy human skin tissue cells, including: fibroblasts, a type of cell found in connective tissue that produces collagen; and keratinocytes, an epidermal cell that produces keratin, the key material in the outer layer of skin.
Tests were repeated with incandescent light bulbs. “Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said Rafailovich.
She added that incandescent light of the same intensity had no effect on healthy skin cells, with or without the presence of TiO2.
“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs,” said Rafailovich. “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.”