Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Energy Saving Bulbs Make Lupus Patients Sick

When the new energy saving light bulbs came out a few years ago, there seemed to be little not to like. The bulbs were good for the environment and cost-efficient, using less energy and lasting up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs.

However, some Lupus patients reported that being exposed to the fluorescent bulbs caused them to develop severe side effects, such as rashes, extreme fatigue, and high blood pressure.

No one knows for sure why the lights cause Lupus symptoms to flare, but physicians speculate that the ultraviolet rays given off by energy-saving bulbs trigger inflammation in people with Lupus, who are extremely light-sensitive. Researchers speculate that the bulbs may also trigger epileptic seizures or migraines, so the Lupus Foundation is lobbying Congress to require warning labels on the packaging of all energy-saving light bulbs.

Doctors recommend that those with Lupus take precautions when using the bulbs, making sure that they cover them with lamp shades so that there is no direct contract between ultraviolet rays given off by the bulbs and their skin.

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