Do You Need To Wear Sunblock Indoors?

September 28, 2012

There are a million things around the house that can cause toxicity or present another danger. One of the last you’ve probably considered is a light bulb, but a study found that compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) don’t adequately protect your skin and eyes from damaging UV rays.

CFLs come with a phosphor coating, but the research found that all bulbs tested (different ones from different locations) had enough cracks in them to emit a considerable amount of UV radiation, enough to damage skin cells in the lab. Traditional incandescent light bulbs had no effect on skin.

Some people also report getting headaches from CFLs—and this is a good explanation for that phenomenon. Headaches can be a side-effect of getting sunburned (light bulb burned?) in your eyes.

The researchers recommend only using CFLs behind a second pane of glass. If they’re going into a fixture where the light will directly reach your skin or eyes, you might consider getting a different style of light bulb. LEDs are becoming a better alternative anyway!

Remember to recycle your CFLs for your own health—they contain mercury, so you don’t want to risk having one break in your trash.

Which kind of light bulb do you use and why? Give your opinion in the comments!

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