Toxic Light Bulb Investigation

2012, Environment  -   22 Comments

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL) save energy and sound great - but is there a hidden danger? Why do they need 'special' disposal?

Harmful UV rays could be seeping into your home. An exclusive investigation that prompted Health Canada to jump into action.

Allison Vuchnich explores whether there's a link between bulbs and the triggering of migraine headaches. Since these stories first aired, there were many reactions.

16:9's investigation exposing the possible health risks of those curly fluorescent light bulbs touched a nerve. They demanded answers from Health Canada and finally - their test results.

Ratings: 6.68/10from 50 users.

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22 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Derp

    Okay, to all those who think this is bogus. My mother has been growing African Violets for 30+ years. Some are on her kitchen window sills, which have two hanging light fixtures. She switched from incandescent bulb to the pigtailed fluorescents and within a couple of weeks her Violets were noticeably less healthy. Yet the ones on the opposites side of the kitchen were fine. I picked up some LED bulbs and within a week or so the Violets were back to there normal healthy state. Maybe this is just a bizzare coincidence or maybe there is something to this video...

  2. Alby

    Hi as a bit of an audio buff i have read up on dirrty electricity and yes flouro,s are one of the sourcesas are computers as they have a switched mode power supply .
    Recording studios go to quiet some expence to make sure they have clean power , a company i came across does balanced power that cancels the noise out .
    Not sure if i,m allowed to post links ,there was a great article in Mix magazine about dirty electricity if people want to search and look for themselves.
    Its easy to mesure such things with with an oscilascope.

  3. orgoniteman

    THe Suns light an energy is different than a toxic UV mercury fillament light bulb.

  4. The Inventor City

    LED is the way, don't forget halogen bulb in our screens for backlight new laptop screens all LED now.

  5. NexisD DesuS

    The UV thing and "dirty energy" is a load of bull.

    I work on HV power cables for hours and it doesn't effect me at all WHILE under New Zealand sun which has highest UV rays in the world and skin cancer in the world... Then again I'm white as white but don't burn I just go bit browner...

    As for the mercury that's really scary mercury has NO PLACE in light bulbs how much of this mercury is going into land fill then into water ways! Mercury isn't nothing to mess around with...

    If you smash one which would be common mercury goes everywhere.... That could poison a small child I'm sure. It builds up... Seafood... Light bulbs, water.... We really need to reduce level of mercury we are exposed to.

    But to be honest most of these people have neurosis or some sort of anxiety disorder.

  6. orgoniteman

    Mercury fillament bulbs don't belong in public. diruptive type of energy that raises blood pressure and bad for environment.

  7. orgoniteman

    Uv lights . use mercury dust fillament. the lights fequency is disruptive type of energy. they have no place in public. They create a deficit of negative ions. unhealthy and raise blood pressure. solution. led's
    . carry with you orgonite if u must .work in theese environments.

  8. max hander

    LED lights are the way. cfls are inferior, they buzz, the light is obnoxious, and yes, years ago, they were the better choice, but now LEDs are coming down in price and not only save you energy useage which pays for the lightbulb cost, and then some, the light looks better, feels better, and have no annoying buzzing sound. it's time everyone recycles old cfl products, including tvs, and replace them with LED lights and tvs.

  9. Tim

    Measurements for any radiated energy must be at a specific distance, and that includes sound, light and radio (RF) energy. The amount of radiation varies according to the inverse square law: The
    amount of radiation varies inversely with the square of the distance. The measurements shown in the first part of part two are meaningless. Otherwise you can make a cricket measure louder than a lawnmower.

  10. siamon

    Well, I'm one of those ppl sensitive to the flourescent white light. And it doesn't matter what shape they are made into or when and where they were produced. I've noticed it the 1st time I was exposed to them at the primary school, after about 3 months of sitting under them in a classroom my fist migraine emerged. I always feel strange and uncomfortable under them, and It happens also at shopping centers and everywhere there those lights were in case somobody started wondering if I just didn't like the school. However, after 40 years of knowing that, I was not happy to hear some countries stopped using the normal light bulbs, but lucky for us, they started producing the LED light bulbs. I love them, they give a very good light, I feel very good under them and it looks like, they are not to be banned. Progress is good. However, I was wandering, if it's the emitting light itself that makes us uneasy under the flouro white lights? I experimented with the black flouro lights and it was funny to see, that I was ok, but some ppl complained it gives them a headache and makes the feel dizzy! Hmmm?

    1. Miss Tammy

      I have also ALWAYS felt very uncomfortable under this type of lighting, it is a feeling that I do not normally get unless under them. (or perhaps in a crowded bus)

      I get anxious, incredibly uncomfortable, do not want people next to me, kind of withdrawn, it is the total opposite of any other time. I am a very social person who loves being around people, even the buzz of the lights creeps me out..

      In fact at one of my overnight jobs, I would always turn off the lights and instead use a lamp with a soft light and shade, not only did I feel better but also the clients I worked with felt much more at ease.

      They are horrible, I have been known to say that they are my kryptonite, no joke!

      *Also, I do not mind the sun, in fact I enjoy it a lot,..

  11. MarkmBha

    Health Canada better get on this quickly!
    It may become an issue.

  12. Bogdan Gherghel

    I presume those are 500 V/m (the strength of the electric field emitted), but the lady doesn't know her physics :)

  13. oQ

    There is nothing better about those bulbs...they are more expensive, they give less light and they don't last's a scam
    As for the headaches ....i don't know, it doesn't affect me.

    1. rgcustomer

      CFLs came along at the right time. They saved me a bundle on electricity, and In 6 years, I only had to replace three of them, in my whole home. I dispose of mine properly, when the time comes. No big deal.

      But now I'm replacing them with LEDs. They're more expensive yet, but if you can find the right ones (still a challenge) they produce beautiful bright light from the same current used by the CFLs. I don't know how long they'll last, but it's supposed to be much longer.

      If you're willing to abandon the traditional sockets and fixtures, you can be a lot more creative with LEDs too.

  14. simon these people can't stand a light but the sun is fine?

    1. illuminatilizardperson

      No. The sun is bad , as well. My mother died of lupus in 1988. A short time in the sun would exacerbate her rash. Some people are just more sensitive to such things. If the bulbs are emitting u.v. rays that could affect certain folks, what is wrong with a small label to inform them?

  15. Crab_Nebula

    They show a guy who they say got bad headaches with the CFL's in his house...then they say he quit his job to go test other peoples homes for dirty energy.. So the CFL's in his house gave him pain, so he went on to spend every day working around them??? rubbuish.
    I don't like CFL's one bit. But this doesn't make a real case against them.

    1. Nwttp

      Well testing other people's doesn't require living/sleeping around them every single day.

  16. Emanuel Faisca

    if this was true those people would not be able step out in to the sun...
    one thing they don’t answer is how much uv is emitted from the bulbs and how it compares to the sun uv...
    no scientific validity in this documentary, complete bull****.
    Come on people if your afraid do your own investigation about this, don’t believe this lightly.

  17. Luyang Han

    This TV reporter basically is a fool, sorry, without any ideas about the subject but simply follow people's whining, and treat the viewers equally like a fool. And I feel offended. If you are talking about toxic, the largest isuue is disposal because of Hg.
    What the hell is this dirty meter anyway?

  18. Harry Nutzack

    "the sky is falling".... much whining over nothing