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Are energy saving light bulbs a cause of migraines?

by Parm Mann on 4 January 2008, 16:16

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Got a headache? Try turning the light out.

According to the Migraine Action Association, energy saving light bulbs can trigger migraines.

The bulbs are set to become compulsory in Britain by 2011 as part of an ongoing attempt to reduce carbon emissions but the Government is now facing campaigners who are against the decision. Rather than completely banning traditional bulbs, campaigners insist that an opt-out option should be available for those with health problems.

The Migraine Action Association claims to have been flooded with complaints regarding to headaches caused by the energy efficient bulbs which often use fluorescent light. Speaking on behalf of the MAA, Paul Jansen told the Daily Mail "For some people a migraine attack can be triggered by fluorescent lights, video screens, stroboscopic effects and flashing lights."

"Most of the currently available low energy light bulbs are based on fluorescent light technology. We hope that the Government will allow regular light bulbs still to be available to those who need them."

The Government has responded and acknowledged the problem, Health Minister Ivan Lewis said "It is known some people with epilepsy may be affected by energy saving light bulbs".

Jo Jackson of the Lighting Association however insists that flicker problems only exist in older poor quality bulbs. As the technology has changed over the years, newer bulbs are said to give a flicker-free, nonstroboscopic light. It is recommended that consumers only purchase bulbs that carry the "Energy Saving Recommended" logo.

HEXUS readers have been sharing their thoughts on energy saving light bulbs over the past few days, join the debate in our forums and share your thoughts on the transition to energy efficient lighting.

Source: Daily Mail

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