Many LED light bulbs are not electrically polluting, are highly energy efficient, and won't break and contaminate your house with mercury. According to Dave Stetzer, President of Stetzer Electric, none of the non-dimmeable LED light bulbs he has tested thus far have radiated high frequencies or put high frequencies back on the wiring. Dimmeable LED light bulbs are highly electrically polluting. This makes non-dimmeable LED lights the best choice thus far for energy efficient lighting. (Dimmer switches are themselves extremely electrically polluting and thus must be removed so using non-dimmeable LED light bulbs is no hardship.)
There are two other potential problems to consider when purchasing an LED light bulb. One, be sure the light bulbs you purchase do not carry a warning like the following: "This product may cause interference with radios, televisions, telephones or remote controllers." Two, don't purchase an LED light fixture that has a transformer. The transformer is likely to have a large electromagnetic field polluted with high frequencies.
An interesting article (http://www.dolevltd.co.il/UserFiles/File/True%20Cost%20of%20Low%20Energy%20Lighting.pdf) discussed the much lower energy use and good power quality profile of LED lights. Not only are LEDs better for your health, but also better for your wallet. CFL lights claim a 75% energy savings over incandescent lights, but are mostly highly electrically polluting and also transmit radiofrequencies off the bulb, which can be heard as static on the AM dial of a portable radio. LED lights have about a 97% energy savings over incandescent lights without the power quality issues that can cause electric bills to increase - if electrically non-polluting bulbs are selected, see above.
Please see the Solutions page for additional information about creating a safer home and work environment.
Compact fluorescent bulbs can be a significant source of exposure to high frequencies both transmitted and "dirty" power.
The letter to editor below has not been published in the New York Times (to the best of my knowledge), although it should have been. The publicity push to use compact fluorescent bulbs regardless of health risks whether mercury (see below for what to do if one breaks, it is quite alarming) or high frequency exposure, borders on the criminal because these risks are almost never mentioned by the news media and certainly are not emphasized when they are mentioned. Therefore, people cannot make informed choices and the bulbs are likely to be disposed of improperly.
New York Times,
The two articles that appeared in the January 10th, 2008 issue of the NYT on energy efficient lights [Any other Bright Ideas by Julie Schefo and Remaking the Condo with Light and Air by Sidney LeBlance] were both interesting but they failed to mention one very important point. Some of these bulbs emit radio frequency radiation. This radiation flows through the air and along electrical wires contributing to dirty electricity. Some packages even have a warning about the radio frequency saying this light may interfere with radio reception. Indeed this is something that most people can test with a portable radio on AM. As you bring the radio close to an energy efficient bulb that produces radio frequencies the radio will begin to buzz. This is known as electromagnetic interference (EMI) and is a concern for anyone using wireless technology such as mobile phones or wireless computers.
But the real problem is that these frequencies are making people sick. Three independent groups in the UK, including the British Association of Dermatologists, the Migraine Action Association, and Epilepsy Action, have reported illness among their members who have tried energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFL). The most common symptoms are headaches-including migraines, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, eyestrain, nausea and skin irritations.
Not all energy efficient bulbs are the same. Some do not contribute to dirty electricity and do not produce radio frequencies and this includes a few compact fluorescent lights, some LEDs (light emitting diodes) and some halogen bulbs. Unfortunately most of the bulbs on the market will make people sick. Reducing green house gases is important but doing it with flawed technology that will make the user ill is not the right course of action. If governments are going to ban the energy-inefficient but electromagnetically clean incandescent bulb, then they should also ban bulbs that produce radio frequency pollution.
I would encourage anyone who has recently purchased energy efficient bulbs and has since developed any of the symptoms mentioned above to test the bulb for radiation with a portable radio and if the radio buzzes to return the bulb to the retail store for a full refund. Even if our government hasn't done its homework, individual consumers can still make a difference.
Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc. Ph.D.
Here is a link to a report to the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) made on June 5, 2008 by Dr. Magda Havas. The report is titled "Health Concerns associated with Energy Efficient Lighting and their Electromagnetic Emissions."
"16:9 - The Bigger Picture" on Global TV has run a couple of shows on compact fluorescent light bulbs, "dirty" power, and the health problems they cause. Two segments aired on Sunday January 4th, 2009. They were called "Rays of Rash?" and "Dirty Energy." Two more segments aired on Sunday January 18th, 2009. They were called "Reaction to Rays" and "Electrical Shock." The segments can be found at http://www.globaltv.com/globaltv/globalshows/16x9/past.html. Please pass the links to these shows on widely. Everyone should be able to make informed choices. Doctors and public officials also need to receive this information.
Please support us in our fight to clean up electrical pollution. See the Take Action page for steps you can take to help out.
Research on the health effects of electrical pollution can be found on the Research Page. Health benefits of lowering electrical pollution levels include improved blood sugar control, significant improvement in MS symptoms, and improvement in a whole host of other symptoms.
For more information about legislative approaches to eliminating electrical pollution please visit the Legislation Page
For information about steps you can take in your own home to create a safe electrical environment, please visit the Solutions Page
The directions for proper disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs below should apparently apply to regular fluorescent bulbs as well, as I said above, not nearly enough is made of this so millions of compact and regular fluorescent bulbs are and have probably been landfilled annually.