In what may be a serious blow to the compact fluorescent lightbulb industry, Scientific American recently published an article suggesting that the energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs may cause skin damage.
Already criticized for their use of mercury, CFLs are now under new scrutiny for the latest finding which shows that ultraviolet radiation seeping through the bulbs may damage skin cells.
The research was led by Miriam Rafailovich, a professor of material sciences and engineering at Stony Brook. Rafailovich was inspired to investigate after reading an article about a spike in skin cancer on a communal farm in Israel where residents had switched to fluorescent bulbs.
The latest research at Stony Brook tested CFL bulbs from a number of manufacturers and the results across the many brands were varied, with some leaking a lot more UV than others.