A preliminary investigation into the effect of exposure of photosensitive individuals to light from compact fluorescent lamps

E. Eadie, J. Ferguson, H. Moseley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)659-664
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
    Volume160
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

    Keywords

    • Erythema
    • Humans
    • Lighting
    • Photosensitivity Disorders
    • Radiation Dosage
    • Radiation Injuries
    • Skin
    • Ultraviolet Rays

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