fluorescent lighting bad for you??

I was telling my wife today, that I would like to replace a good 75% or more of our light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs to save on energy.
Her immediate response was, "I have heard that fluorescent lights are bad for you". Is there any truth to that? Skin Cancer, etc....
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Not that I know of, though people believe all sorts of things. The light can be unpleasant, but nowadays there are full spectrum types with more pleasing light quality. It's that beautiful ole sunshine that is the cancer risk- though mostly if you get sunburned, excessive exposure- they're now finding that some exposure is good for you, produces Vitamin D3, which strengthens your bones, and seems to prevent cancers. It's just like the older generations told us, sunshine and fresh air...and everything in moderation.
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sparty wrote:

There are billions of fluorescent bulbs used around the world. It is suspected that fluorescent bulbs can cause skin cancer as much as the sun when used in a tanning bed.
Speaking of fluorescent lamps, I saw on TV yesterday that someone had invented a dimmer for the usual office lamps. It contains a computer chip and ballast that replaces the original ballast and causes the lamp to flicker before reaching the full brightness in the start up. It is dimmed the same as an incandescent lamp but with a dimmer switch which adjusts the time of shut off in the start up. The flickering is imperceptible at all settings. It is supposed to have energy savings of at least 50% (dimming lights during the day and at night in unused offices, corridors, stairwells, etc.) No existing lamps have to be replaced, only the ballast.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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There are fluorescent bulbs and there are fluorescent bulbs. Most nominal white light bulbs do not emit any significant UV radiation and are safe. Specialty bulbs, like tanning or "black light" emit UV and should be used with caution..
The bulbs contain mercury, however, the ones with the green ends have less mercury than the older ones.
Mike
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willshak wrote:

It is suspected...? Not by scientists and medical personnel.
Save another 50 percent and turn the damn things off when not used. Whoops, guess it didn't cost anything for the 8 hours of use per day.
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Some people, myself included, are induced to have a migraine headache when subjected to the slight "imperceptible" flicker of some fluorescent lights. I've never had a problem with the new screw in type bulbs that replace regular incandescent bulbs but the big tubes in stores were a problem.
Tom G.
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Tom G wrote:

The headaches and dizziness/nausea that these lamps induce in some people is a result of the 60HZ flicker that the old analog ballasts generate.
The screw in replacement bulbs all use a digital ballast that runs the lamp at 10,000HZ or higher. This takes the oscillation out of the visual flicker range for almost everyone.
The 4 foot and 8 foot lamps seen in commercial settings have historically been an analog ballast. These are changing over slowly to digital electronic ballasts as the old analog ballasts fail (and its getting difficult to find a supply of analog ballasts). But given that the lifetime of a typical ballast is on the order of 15 years, it will take many more years before all these are replaced.
Color spectrum of hte light has also been an issue. Those commercial lamps make everything look slightly green and that makes us uneasy. The new lmaps, screw in and those designed for use with digital ballasts have improved color output, some event hat rival the BEST of incandescent bulbs.
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Tom G.
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Even flicker from fluorescent lighting is unlikely with the new compact fluorescent lamps (screw-in types) since they operate with high-frequency ballasts instead of the older 60 Hz types. New fixtures with 4 foot and 8 foot tubes are also likely to come with high-frequency electronic ballasts these days.
Fluorescent lighting has been used now since 1938. There have been no reports of any particular health problems. There is minimal UV output (similar to incandescent lamps and less UV than halogen incandescent lamps with no shielding).
While some people don't like fluorescent lighting -- usually because of color -- others prefer it since it tends to be less glaring that bright incandescent filaments.
TKM
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lights.
unless I can sit close enough to a window for sunlight to dampen the flicker.
aem sends.....
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Flicker can be an issue with older lighting systems that are driven by standard magnetic core ballasts and, of course, the problem has become increasingly more troublesome as computer monitors become largely ubiquitous (and in particular if the screen refresh rate is set to just 60 Hz). Of course, the glare from the cheap prismatic lenses only makes the visual discomfort that much worse.
However, the lighting systems in virtually all commercial space built (or refurbished) in the past fifteen or twenty years employ the newer, thinner, T8 or T5 style lamps controlled by electronic ballasts. These ballasts operate at 20,000 Hz or higher, so flicker is no longer present. And, thankfully, in good office environments, light is either bounced off the ceiling (indirect) or the fixtures incorporate specular parabolic louvers; in either case, glare is vastly reduced or eliminated altogether, and so too any complaints of headaches or visual fatigue.
Cheers, Paul
On Mon, 10 Apr 2006 02:32:56 GMT, "ameijers"

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Bad for you? No.
Is it OK to hate it? Yes.
Dave
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"I have heard that fluorescent lights are

No.
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Well... smashing the bulbs and sniffing the vapor probably isn't a good idea, and I don't think I recommend tossing the ballasts into your fireplace..
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Just don't eat the mercury in the tubes.
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sparty wrote:

It might be bad for you to cross your wife on this one.
However, Skin cancer, No. I can answer this one as a 45 year survivor of skin cancer when they gave me 10% of living 5 years. I have had it 12 times and while sun exposure has been my primary (but not only) source, fluorescent lights are not a problem. Tanning lights on the other hand are.
There is a real problem for a small percentage of people who are sensitive to the 60 cycle flicker of the lamps. Ask your wife what she heard. Or maybe just let it be and tell her you appreciate her concern and that you love her and don't want anything to hurt her, even if it is remote. Trust me, this one is worth a home made apple pie and more.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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sparty wrote:

Not in the sense that you mean. The flicker is highly annoying and irritating to some people; others never notice the flicker. Many fluorescents put out a band of green and that can have adverse physiological effects. So the answer is it depends on the individual and it depends on the light spectrum of the bulbs.
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George E. Cawthon wrote in part:

What physiological effects are to be blamed on that green band?
I never heard of any!
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Good question! OTOH, your statement seems to indicate your question is rhetorical and you don't believe there is any.
I suggest that you survey physiology journals for colored light--physiological studies.. Might want to look into human psychology studies also.
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