DOES INDOOR LIGHTING POSE CANCER RISK?

As the switch is being made from traditional incandescent bulbs to vastly more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting (CFL), scientists have wondered if the eco-friendly CFL bulbs pose any skin cancer risk. New research into the matter now reveals that pervasive chipping/cracking in the phosphor surface coating of nearly all the compact fluorescent bulbs under examination was allowing UV rays to escape. (The phosphor coating both provides the bulb with greater luminescence and absorbs UV radiation.) In light of this research, scientists warn that skin cells placed in close approximation (less than one foot) to CFL bulbs showed the same damage as those exposed to UV light. No one is suggesting that sunscreen should be applied indoors, but caution is urged.

Most people are now aware the sun emits harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer. Research now shows that exposure to energy-efficient CFL bulbs inside the home also emit some UV rays. Your risk of skin cancer is related to the amount of UV ray exposure you have had over your lifetime. Examine your moles regularly because a change in their appearance may be a warning sign of a problem. Please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule an evaluation of your skin. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, and we provide education on how to protect your skin. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Wearing sunscreen moisturizers and other skin products daily all year round is a good idea because even small exposure to ultraviolet light adds to its cumulative damaging effect.

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