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EU citizens who need incandescent light bulbs for health reasons

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

1. The Commission does not consider it necessary to update the regulation on household lamps 244/2009 to provide an exemption from the ban on incandescent lighting for those with specific medical needs.

According to the recent opinion of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCEHNIR), there already existsuitable alternatives to incandescent bulbs for all light-sensitive patients, including certain halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diode lamps. SCENIHR recognise that the light spectrum can differ from one lamp model to the other, and recommend that sufficient information is provided to healthcare professionals and their patients to allow them to choose their lighting solutions optimally.

The Commission has forwarded SCENIHR’s opinion to the competent authorities of the Member States dealing with product safety under the applicable EU safety legislation.

2. In a letter dated 17 May 2012, the UK Government urged the Commission services to arrange for research on the relationship between artificial lighting and various health conditions before 2014, and to encourage a voluntary industry initiative which would develop a list of lamp models suitable for light-sensitive individuals along with supporting information. There has been no suggestion from the UK Government for an exemption for those with specific medical needs.

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