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CFL UV warning

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ant
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Username: ant

Post Number: 351
Registered: 05-2006

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Posted on Friday, 10 October, 2008 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello all,

There's an item on R4 "You and Yours" that some CFLs radiate enough ultra-violet to be worried. Enclosed bulbs ok but those with open tubes should be at least a foot away.

Someone from the Health Protection Agency so official, presumably!

Regards Ant
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steerpike
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Username: steerpike

Post Number: 400
Registered: 05-2005


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Posted on Friday, 10 October, 2008 - 07:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

so we can use them in our PCB exposure boxes????!!!!
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ant
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Username: ant

Post Number: 352
Registered: 05-2006

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Posted on Friday, 10 October, 2008 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dunno, but they can certainly attract midges!

Regards Ant
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dave_g
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Username: dave_g

Post Number: 500
Registered: 05-2005

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Posted on Saturday, 11 October, 2008 - 10:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All fluorescent tubes work by converting UV light, generated by the discharge within the gas in the tube, to visible light using the white phosphor coating on the inside of the tube.

I have never seen any manufacturer datasheet warning users to be more than 12" away from them. Sounds like a scare story to me or one based upon cheap lamps with an inadequate coating.

In any case, why would you spend much, if any, time closer than 12" to a lamp?

Add to this the number of desk lamps with various types of fluorescent tube and the lack of any warnings, and it starts to be increasing doubtful there is much credibility in this.
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ant
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Username: ant

Post Number: 353
Registered: 05-2006

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Posted on Saturday, 11 October, 2008 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello Dave,

Searching for Health Protection Agency throws up a number of references, for instance:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/uv-risk-linked-to-energyefficient-light-bulbs-20081010-4y4b.html

UV risk linked to energy-efficient light bulbs

..............................................
Energy-efficient light bulbs might be good for the environment but bad for your health, according to new research.

Reading or working next to an energy-saving light for more than hour could cause your skin to redden from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a British Government agency has warned.

The Health Protection Agency found long periods of time spent too close to compact fluorescent lights could expose people to radiation levels higher than international guidelines.

The agency advised against spending more than an hour within 30 centimetres of some energy-saving lights.

Encased energy-saving lights, which look more like traditional incandescent bulbs, were found to be safer than open bulbs.

But the agency's chief executive, Justin McCracken, said the findings did not mean people had to rid their homes of the bulbs.

"We are advising people to avoid using the open light bulbs for prolonged close work until the problem is sorted out and to use encapsulated bulbs instead," she said.

"In other situations where people are not likely to be very close to the bulbs for any length of time, all types of compact fluorescent light bulbs are safe to use."

The radiation exposure from the lights when about 2cm away was compared to standing outside on a sunny day.

.............................................

It does seem like a remote worry but many of these lamps _are_ used close up - the two on my shack bench for example. As I type this, my CFL desklight is 9" away from my left hand; the Amiodarone that I used to take still, 12 years later, makes my skin blister in sunlight.

So what's to do? No manufacturer has _ever_ warned against common hazards with their products unless compelled to do so!

Regards Ant
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dave_g
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Post Number: 501
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Posted on Sunday, 12 October, 2008 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ant - I checked the HPA website and the document is very vague.

I stick to my guns here, use a decent quality lamp and you will not have a problem. I always buy Philips, Osram, GE, or Sylvania in that order.

In my professional life I run a mile from anything of unknown provenance. Time and time again I've seen how "cheap" does not mean "better" and certainly not "lowest cost".

You would not believe the rubbish being imported now - I know of "rogue" cables, even down to copper paint being used on telephone cable! Counterfeit Circuit Breakers are common. Lamps are no exception and I cannot emphasise too much, buy a good lamp from a reputable source.

Heard the one about the pygmy lamps with too long a filament? It went straight through the glass envelope and electrocuted the user if they didn't turn the power off when changing it.

So this issue is no different; a decent Manufacturer will issue warnings where appropriate and take every care to make a safe product.
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ant
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Username: ant

Post Number: 355
Registered: 05-2006

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Posted on Sunday, 12 October, 2008 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello Dave,

I bow to your greater knowledge; certainly despite my sensitivity I've had no problems so far.

But I would also make the point that if manufacturers don't disclose their shortcomings, government websites don't usually admit to any dangers either unless it's really unavoidable - except perhaps Edwina Currie's foulxxx fowl problem!

Regards Ant
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alexr
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Username: alexr

Post Number: 28
Registered: 02-2008

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Posted on Monday, 13 October, 2008 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This definitely looks like a typical media beat-up but out of curiosity I just performed the following not very scientific test.

One of my photographic filters came with a card that show how good it is at blocking UV. It is a cardboard card with 2 patches on it, 1 labelled UVA and the other UVB. Normally when the card is exposed to sunlight for 30 seconds or more the patches change colour indicating the presents of UV.

30 minutes exposure 10cm from a 18Watt CF lamp produced no colour change in the card. As I say not very scientific but good enough to satisfy me and show yet again that the only thing you can believe in the press is the date and that only after you have personally checked the calendar.
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ant
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Username: ant

Post Number: 357
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Posted on Monday, 13 October, 2008 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello Alex et al,

This is the url for the actual .pdf from the Health Protection Agency - it does say "some" bulbs, it also says "could" be a problem. But this isn't a media frightener, this is the government getting there first.

http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1223445517429

Regards Ant

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