Who knew protecting the environment could mean endangering one's health? A study recently conducted at The State University of New York at Stony Brook found that defects in compact fluorescent bulbs can cause these bulbs to emit ultraviolet rays, which can lead to skin cell damage, and ultimately, cancer. Connecting the dreaded c-word with energy efficiency might come as a bit of a shock. After all, the benefits of new, greener sources have been all the rage as of late, and federal efficiency standards have been working hard to promote the use of more environmentally friendly lighting while phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs.
Problems arise when the phosphor coating on a fluorescent bulb cracks, releasing the typically concealed UV light. And, while the amount of harmful rays released may not be as dangerous as visiting a tanning booth on a regular basis, Stony Brook researchers did find cracks in nearly all of the bulbs they collected for study, posing some need for concern. Their findings, published in the Photochemistry and Photobiology journal, have laid a new groundwork for further study of potential cancer culprits. With so many on the books these days, it's no wonder that more and more cases are coming to light.