Letter in the South China Morning Post:
I refer to the letter by Allan Dyer (“‘Green’ lighting fears just a Luddite attack”, March 3) replying to my letter (“‘Green’ light bulbs really a health hazard”, February 22).
Evidence linking compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lighting to mental illness, depression, exhaustion, and eyesight problems can be found on the Spectrum Alliance website. This site contains testimonies from patients, optometrists and medical doctors, including a clinical immunologist, who links causes of chronic fatigue syndrome directly to these light bulbs.
Patients across Europe have been unnecessarily prescribed drugs, with bad side effects, for a range of symptoms when in reality all they needed was to avoid CFL and LED lighting. CFLs and LEDs generate light very different from natural light. Incandescent bulbs produce light similar to natural light. It is the light spectrum from CFLs and LEDs that causes illness.
On January 19 the UN signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It bans the production, import and export from 2020 of certain types of CFLs because of the serious impact the mercury contained in these bulbs has on humans and the environment.
The article “Green light bulbs poison workers”, in The Times, in 2009, gives a detailed account of how CFLs are linked to ill health. The Daily Mail on March 5 identified villages in China where pollution from metals has caused high rates of disease as “cancer villages”.
Where I live, broken CFLs and LEDs are just tossed into normal rubbish, leaving rubbish collectors regularly exposed to cancerous toxins. The management company’s attitude is one of, this is not a problem because the government is promoting these bulbs as green. The light bulb industry spends billions of dollars a year on securing deals with governments and green groups to promote CFLs and LEDs because these bulbs yield more income than the incandescent bulbs they seek to ban.
The Hong Kong government should ensure all light bulbs carry labels for light spectrum and toxins. Actual CFL and LED bulbs should be stamped with the skull and crossbones to prompt responsible disposal.
Dr Robert Hanson, Tseung Kwan O