Sarah is an English Teacher from the North of England. In March 2012, she started noticing joint pains, skin rashes and a heavy feeling across the top of her eyes. She says: “Suddenly I was experiencing these symptoms that seemed to come out of nowhere. I’d never had skin problems in my life.”
A rheumatologist could find nothing wrong but the problems persisted. She was also struggling to see: “At first I thought my eyesight was fading, that it was long-sightedness, but I know it’s not that. It feels like I’m going blind’
Eventually she realised that her symptoms were related to the newly-installed CFL bulbs in her home. With incandescent lights and LEDs she has no symptoms, finds the brightness good and she can see.
While the official advice is that double envelope (covered) CFLs can mitigate the problems of direct exposure, she finds these “terrible, the joint pains are a bit better but the light quality is still the same, I get a rash on my face and neck and itching all over my body”.
Sarah feels she’s at her wit’s end because of the new lighting: “If people want it, fair enough, but it is being forced on us without any opportunity to choose.”