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CFLs: Good For The Earth, Might Be Bad For Your Skin

Swapping out old incandescent bulbs for energy-saving CFLs is an easy way to go green and save money, but did you know that these efficient bulbs could be bad for your skin?

Photo: Plumen

CFLs have plenty of positives, but new research out of Stony Brook University suggests that the UV rays emitted by the bulbs can damage skin after prolonged exposure. The study reiterates that CFLs are the green choice, but urges users to take certain precautions when using them.

“Despite their large energy savings, consumers should be careful when using compact fluorescent light bulbs. Our research shows that it is best to avoid using them at close distances,” says Dr. Miriam Rafailovich.

Don’t toss out your new energy-saving bulbs just yet! There are plenty of reasons to stick with CFLs, including the fact that they burn 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they last 6-10 times longer!

But, just like when you’re wielding kitchen knives or working with electrical wires, it’s important to be safe. Avoid working directly under the bulbs for long periods of time, and consider adding a glass cover over the bulb for additional protection. If your CFL resides in a bedside reading lamp, a shade offers sufficient protection.

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