Background: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are due to replace common incandescent lamps over the next few years. There has been no investigation of the possible effect of this on patients with photosensitive disorders. Objectives: To determine the effect of exposure of photosensitive individuals to light from CFLs. Methods: The spectral emission from a sample of CFLs was measured using a calibrated spectroradiometer. The erythemal response was determined in one normal individual and four photosensitive individuals by direct exposure of the skin to light from a CFL. The susceptibility of a wider group of photosensitive individuals was predicted based on the light dose known to elicit a reaction during phototesting at discrete ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Results: CFLs emit UV radiation at wavelengths down to 254 nm. Prolonged exposure of a normal individual's skin produced erythema. However, an exposure of only 2.5 min at 5 cm elicited marked erythema in one of the abnormally photosensitive patients. Conclusions: CFLs could be a source of harmful UV radiation to photosensitive individuals. Patients with chronic actinic dermatitis are thought to be at greatest risk. The use of a protective envelope is recommended. © 2009 The Authors.
- Photosensitivity Disorders
- Radiation Dosage
- Radiation Injuries
- Ultraviolet Rays
Eadie, E., Ferguson, J., & Moseley, H. (2009). A preliminary investigation into the effect of exposure of photosensitive individuals to light from compact fluorescent lamps. British Journal of Dermatology, 160(3), 659-664. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08998.x