If you have any of the symptoms or illnesses described on the medical issues page, you may want to invest some time studying the data and watching the videos. This is information about CFLs that the media, your government, and many lighting “experts” have not told you. There are also links to web sites that will help protect your well-being and also to sources for energy-saving, “safe” lighting products.
• As a result of the story, in the Adrian Daily Telegram of 23 December 2007, on the impact of Compact Fluorescent Lights on my quality of life, numerous people from the U. K., Canada, and many states have contacted me.
• Dr. Rick Snow, of the Eye Center of Lenawee, informed me of the phenomenon known as Critical Flicker Frequency, which he studied at Ohio State University some thirty years ago. He suggested that I “Google” it.
• That search led to numerous references, one of the latest of which was the scholarly paper published by Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda and associates, of the State University of New York. A copy of that study, with my annotations to the good doctor, is attached. Dr. Ciuffreda has given his permission to disseminate that study, provided appropriate attribution is noted. Clearly, he has an understanding of how devastating the flicker effect can be.
• The group, Right to Light/Alliance for Light Sensitivity (in the U. K), has been very active on a number of the medical issues associated with CFLs and lighting. Evelyne Muller is their Coordinator. A copy of her paper, “Don’t Leave Us In The Dark”, is under the heading ”Research”.
• A paper by Dr Andrew Goldsworthy (Honorary Lecturer in Biology, Imperial College, University of London) is under “Research”. His paper, “Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) – What you need to know about low energy lighting”, is a scholarly treatise dealing with some of the issues described by Dr. Ciuffreda and Dr. Magda Havas, of Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario.
• Dr. Magda Havas’ report, Health Concerns associated with Energy Efficient Lighting and their Electromagnetic Emissions, covers data about light sensitivity as well the symptoms which are exacerbated by electromagnetic emissions from CFLs. She has given permission to use her study, also with appropriate attribution.
• An article from the Physicists Newsletter telling about electromagnetic fields produced by incubators altering the heart rates of newborns.
• Dr. Havas’ email, attached, tells of television programs produced by Global TV, and the URL at which they can be viewed. These videos are on the right side of the screen.
• A second article, from the Physicists Newsletter. It tells about posts, containing flashing lights to the Epilepsy Foundation’s web site, by malicious hackers. They caused migraines and seizures.
• A page from the brochure “A Guide to Understanding Your Migraine” which also tells about flickering lights (which are also dealt with in Dr. Ciuffreda’s study).
• A portion of an article on Common Migraine Triggers.
• An excerpt from the Epilepsy Foundation on Seizure Triggers.
• A page from the Nintendo Wii game manual, which warns about seizures induced by flashing
lights and/or objects.
• A Design News article which describes how the “Noise” (EMI and RFI) from a CFL jammed a garage door opener. The EMI and RFI also are dealt with in Dr. Havas’ research paper.
• “The Dark Side of the CFL”, a documentary by Geeta Nadkarni, presented on CBC at Montreal, Friday 12 Jun 2009. The You Tube URL is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3YrEMlmE9E
• “The Dark Side of CFLs”, an article to which Ms. Nadkarni linked. It was written by Walt McGinnis who is a member of the EM Radiation Task Force in Canada. He discusses the energy issues of CFLs and incandescent lights.
• A paper, by the F.D.A., which is a weak attempt to “whitewash” the CFL issues, with my notations.
• The “Merchant Card”. It is given to businesses which choose to use CFLs thereby precluding our ability to patronize them. This also puts them on notice as to the extent of their potential liability. Based upon the studies by Drs. Havas and Ciuffreda, as well as Dr. Goldsworthy, it is abundantly clear that that the combination of flicker, EMI, and RFI, emitted by CFLs, produces effects which are varied and serious to those segments of the population which are afflicted by
migraines, vestibular problems, autism, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, epilepsy, tremors, cardiac arrhythmias, memory loss, diabetes, difficulty concentrating, and lupus, as well as the other maladies discussed in those studies. When taken in the aggregate, due to the varied conditions which are either caused or exacerbated by exposure to CFLs, these people account for a substantial portion of the population who suffer serious degradation to their quality of life.
The expanding press coverage of the medical tribulations attributed to CFLs, while largely in Canada at this moment, underscores the fact that the U.S. media, with just a few exceptions (and I’m happy to say that one is The Adrian Daily Telegram) has either chosen to ignore this topic, or not taken the time to look into the research on it, rather than inform the public about the magnitude of the dangers which are discussed by Canadian, U.S., and U.K. medical and scientific experts.
While Drs. Ciuffreda and Havas appear to have approached this situation from what may seem to be slightly different aspects, when one looks at their conclusions, taken together, the magnitude of the CFL problem comes into focus. It is also interesting to see the validation of their research by the work which is being published in other scientific journals and on the CBC.
Dr. Perlman feels that, due to the large number of persons who are negatively impacted by CFLs, it may be appropriate that a warning, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, be placed on CFLs and perhaps even the establishments which use them.
(End Notes: From a personal standpoint, I became interested in this topic due to the fact that CFLs rob me of the benefits of fourteen months of intensive Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation. That rehab enabled me to walk, unaided, after my vestibular system was lost in a brain stem injury. CFLs cause a total loss of situational awareness, leading to falls as well as instantaneous, serious anxiety attacks. It seems that more frequent exposure magnifies the intensity and duration of the symptoms.
I am greatly encouraged by the fact that people are becoming aware of these CFL-induced difficulties. However, I am also cognizant of my responsibility to help others who have yet to determine the cause of their problems. I was fortunate to have a great team, led by Dr. Perlman, who helped define the situation. For this reason, I feel obligated to those who may be struggling with symptoms which they have yet to comprehend.
One cannot help but wonder how long the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be in a state of denial. Perhaps they are just uninformed.
It is increasingly apparent that we are not alone. (What started as a trickle is rapidly becoming a torrent of information).