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Letter from Kevan Shaw to the Chinese Press

South China Morning Post

As a lighting design director and someone who has been active in European lighting legislation, I can confirm that the legislation was driven initially by lamp manufacturers.

They have been pushed on to the back foot to some extent by campaigning organisations such as Greenpeace.

These groups have managed to force the legislation to be enacted much faster than lamp manufacturers in Europe have been able to respond to, and therefore almost all compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are now manufactured in China.

CFLs are without doubt a bad product.

The inclusion of the electronics necessary to make the lamps work excessively increases the environmental impact in respect of hazardous and non-recyclable elements. The pressure on price results in lower-quality components, leading to early failure and poor performance.

A significant proportion of the population do suffer a range of symptoms caused by CFL, LED and high-frequency fluorescent lighting.

These range from very obvious skin problems, and attacks being brought on or made worse for migraine sufferers by such lighting, to people who have exhibited other debilitating symptoms such as exhaustion, headaches, nausea and also confusion.

This last group are particularly affected and there is little effort to properly research their conditions.

At the end of the day most lighting research is conducted and paid for by the lamp industry. It does not wish to research negative aspects of the products it makes.

Kevan Shaw, Edinburgh, Scotland

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