Nanotech 2010

Cell damage by energy saving light bulbs

T. Mironava, M.H. Rafailovich
SUNY at Stony Brook, US

Keywords: CFL, cells, UV-light, damage


The growing concern regarding green house gas emissions during power generation has increased awareness regarding energy conservation. Next to transportation, lighting is one of the major sources of energy consumption. Compact fluoresce light bulbs (CFL) can provide the same amount of lumens as incandescent light bulbs, using one quarter of the energy . The bulbs work on the principal of excitation of Hg vapors and production of the Hg emission lines and excite the phosphor that emits light in the visible range. In addition to emission, the phosphor also serves as an absorber of the UV radiation. Data sheets found on line from different manufactures show the spectra without any emission in the UV range. In the past tow years some disturbing reports have surfaced, mostly in European Union literature which indicate that exposure to these bulbs are responsible for exacerbating certain skin conditions. A recent study performed a general survey of the emissions from commercially available bulbs and found significant amounts of UVA, B and C were produced. Therefore, we studied UV emissions in CFL, and the effects of CFL exposure on dermal fibroblasts and on DNA. We tested ten bulbs, with different power outputs and found on average significant amounts of UV produced. These values can be compared to solar UV emissions and correspond to exposure for several hours. Since most people in the US also wear different types of skin care products, contain Ti)2 for pigment or SFP protection, we also tested dermal fibroblasts which were incubated with rutile and anatase TiO2 nanoparticles. We found that unlike rutile anatase enhance the damage.
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