Wendee Nicole, based in Houston, TX, has written for Nature, Scientific American, National Wildlife, and other magazines.
Investigators measured ultraviolet (UV) radiation emissions from nine commercially available CFLs and observed cracks in the phosphor coating on each bulb that might allow UV leaks. The team exposed healthy human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts to the CFL with the highest UV emissions at a distance of 2.5 cm for 2 hours at a time. But in contrast to media depictions of “skin-frying” CFLs, researchers are reluctant to draw conclusions about consumer risk on the basis of these findings.
In vitro studies have limitations for assessing CFL impacts on skin because the intensity of light reaching the cells within skin is much less than the light intensity at the skin surface.
Nevertheless, the study results are not inconsistent with published research.5 “When we have exposed people to [CFL] light, sensitive patients do get a sunburn, and a small proportion of normal people get a mild sunburn,” he says. Inside a CFL, argon gas and mercury vapor are stimulated by the flow of electricity, producing UV light.
The Stony Brook study comes on the heels of several recent reports addressing artificial light.
In 2012 SCENIHR again addressed the issue of artificial light exposure with an eye to the general public and determined no studies had yet evaluated CFL-specific links to adverse health effects. That’s an important distinction, says Brian Pollack, an assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at Emory University, because “UV radiation is carcinogenic.
Come visit with EHP’s Science Editor, Jane Schroeder, at the 2016 ISEE Meeting in Rome, Italy, from 1–4 September 2016.
EHP is pleased to present the abstracts from the 28th annual meeting of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), held in Rome, Italy, 1–4 September 2016, and hosted by the Department of Epidemiology Lazio Regional Health Service, ASL Roma 1, and the Italian Epidemiological Association. DisclaimerPublication of articles in EHP does not mean that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) condones, endorses, approves, or recommends the use of any products, services, materials, methodology, or policies stated therein. Known as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), this new method employs light in the ultraviolet wavelength (400nm and 10nm — shorter than visible light, longer than X-rays).
Turns out, two specific frequencies of 265nm and 185nm, do most of the damage, penetrating cellular walls and disrupting DNA replication (dimerising adjacent pairs of thymine, specifically) which in turn prevents the cell from replicating or repairing itself, rendering it harmless if not outright dead. There are two primary means of producing UV light in these two frequencies — continuous mercury vapour UV lamps and pulse xenon UV.
In hospitals, surgical instruments and operating theatres aren’t the only vectors for disease transmission, patients are just as likely to pick up a secondary infection from something in the recovery room. In addition to copious amounts of hand sanitizer and bleach washes, hospitals are now turning to devices like the UV emitter from Xenex Healthcare Services.
At this point, UV disinfection remains a supplementary process to chemical cleaning methods, however, the market for these devices is growing and is expected to grow from $US30 million to $US80 million in the next three years. The ozone these things create is going to significantly shorten the lifespan of everything in the room! Interesting fact, UV is actually universally effective at causing irreversible DNA degradation (against people, plants, animals). There are a few things that have been shown to make it more effective at killing what you want to kill (germs), and not what you don't (people) usually by pulsing the light at different timings - but that's really pretty much about exposing people to as little as possible, while still achieving enough exposure to kill all different germ varieties within that time range. With a son currently in an Intensive Care unit, who has been tested positive with VRE (google it), I can assure you that not all "super bugs" are just colds, flus or the like - some are bugs that can kill tiny children who don't have a chance to "get a bit dirty". The rate that these bugs can be transferred around a hospital is so scary (and I know, because I have to live with it, in hospital, every day with my son) that if there is actually an outbreak, I'd have serious, grave concerns for the health of some people.
I'd prefer to have new technologies, like this UV tech, which can prevent the spread of these bugs, without having to give the patient yet another injection, or something else to digest, because sometimes the patients can't just keep being given the anti-biotics (something that actually leads to VRE). I'm still not convinced that UV emitters will ever replace chemical disinfectants, but I can see it as a great addition to the team, for those spots that often get overlooked when cleaning. In acne-afflicted skin, bacteria that live on the surface of healthy skin, Propionobacterium acnes or P. The free radicals generated by UV light also eliminate healthy vitamin C and vitamin A from the skin.
As an alternative to using UV light to treat acne, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of another form of light therapy: blue light therapy. Typical light-based treatment sessions for acne take a minimal amount of time, perhaps 15 minutes, three times a week, over the course of several weeks. UV light includes the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that is shorter than that of visible light.
Exposure to ultraviolet light, particularly UV-B, can cause sunburns and trigger the production of the pigment melanin in a process commonly known as “tanning”. UV exposure and sunburns produce large changes in the affected skin tissue, and these changes can impact acne symptoms. The cost of UV light therapy varies from free (the sun) up to ~$100 per treatment (dermatologist).
In the years before now, one of the most common acne and skin care treatments suggested by doctors was the exposure of one’s skin to the sun.
Skin damage occurs when ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin, causing changes in the cells and potentially even mutating their DNA, a problem which can lead to cancer. Fortunately, several products have recently been developed that promise non-comedogenic effects, meaning that they have been proven to not cause acne. For those with acne problems, sun exposure is not the idealized treatment it was thought to be. Hope you’ll find these articles about UV light therapy useful, and that it will help you to search for Blue light therapy instead. A UV lamp is a lamp specifically designed to emit light at the ultraviolet wavelength, which is generally not able to be seen by humans without special equipment.
In addition to these entertainment and cosmetic applications, a UV lamp can also be used as a treatment tool for a number of different illnesses.
I have a very old copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and it suggests that for sore nipples, you should either expose them to sunlight or (I think) use a UV lamp. I’ve never understood people who go to tanning salons to sit under these lamps and get their tans. They also tested CFL exposure combined with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, a catalyst.

In 2008 Europe’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) reviewed the literature on the topic and concluded that the flicker and UV emissions from CFLs could adversely affect sensitive individuals with epilepsy, migraine headaches, eye diseases, and skin diseases affected by light.7 Numerous medications and personal care products—including antibiotics, antidepressants, diuretics, antipsychotics, and certain cosmetics—can render people hypersensitive to UV light. However, the committee did find substantial evidence linking “single-envelope” CFLs—those with the bare spiral tube showing—to aggravation of chronic actinic dermatitis, solar urticaria, lupus erythematosus, and photosensitive eye conditions. Food and Drug Administration8 and Health Canada9 advise that single-envelope CFLs should not be used at distances closer than about one foot. Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). Light Sensitivity.
This is a great opportunity to meet a member of our team, and to learn more about the journal.
The focus of this year’s conference is current and future challenges in exposure assessment, study design, and data analyses.
Conclusions and opinions are those of the individual authors and advertisers only and do not reflect the policies or views of the NIEHS.
These infections kill around 100,000 vulnerable patients and cost the American healthcare industry $US30 billion annually.
UV light is present in natural sunlight and, although the most damaging wavelengths (extreme UV from 10nm to 120nm and midrange UV from 280nm to 315nm) are filtered by our ozone layer before they penetrate the atmosphere (97 per cent of UV overall), all wavelengths can alter molecular bonds and are capable of damaging biological tissue. Many American utilities have also been using UV methods for water sterilisation (both potable and wastewater) since 1916 and the practice has garnered EPA approval. Eighty-six per cent of the light emitted by Mercury-vapour lamps shines at 254nm, near one of the germicidal peaks, however these lamps are energy intensive and filled with a toxic gas. Perhaps, just maybe, you don't realise the difference between the technologies and didn't think that this Gizmodo article may be more informed than you, or I. Used to, because UV light therapy is no longer recommended by dermatologists as risks are higher than benefits. When dermatologists started providing UV light acne treatments, the public received it well. These vitamins promote healthy skin by building collagen, which keeps skin looking young, supple and wrinkle-free.
The blue light therapy used today does not contain the harmful UV rays that light therapy previously used. Your doctor may instruct you to apply a topical medicine to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the light.
UV light is most commonly found in sunlight and artificial UV sources, such as tanning beds. However, shorter wavelength electromagnetic radiation is largely absorbed by the atmosphere. Exposure to ultraviolet light is important for the natural production of vitamin D in the skin. The cost of a tanning session (the most common source) often ranges between $5 and $25 per session. This was thought to clear up acne, and the immediate improvements immediately following sun exposure seemed proof that the treatment worked.
The sun emits electromagnetic radiation, energy that reaches the earth in a variety of wavelengths. People often think of suntans as indicative of controlled exposure, while believing that only sunburns (technically called erythema) are negative for their health. The sun is thought to kill acne-causing skin bacteria, and to blend in new acne scars and blemishes, however continued UV ray exposure actually increases the likelihood of clogged pores as a result of increased oil production and dead skin cell retention. In addition to sunscreens, these include several moisturizers and even makeup products like foundation that include protection of up to SPF 15. In addition to aging the skin and potentially causing skin cancer, the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun can actually increase sebum production and sun-damaged skin cells can block pores. In terrariums, these lamps are used so that plants and animals, especially reptiles, get enough of the required UV light they may need each day. At amusement parks and other places, an ultraviolet lamp can be used as a black light to create unusual glowing effects.
Many tanning beds use such lamps to give artificial tans because UV light is what actually tans the skin in the natural environment.
While most UV light therapeutic tools are considered alternative forms of medicine, the use of an ultraviolet lamp, or lamps, to treat seasonal affective disorder, a mental illness, has been accepted in many mainstream practices. Apparently the UV rays help cracked nipples heal! I doubt you would find a lot of doctors recommending that these days! Even without knowledge of the science behind it, I’ve always felt that there was something that was inherently dangerous about the whole thing. CFL exposure was associated with a slight increase in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in both cell types, reduced mitochondrial activity and cell proliferation in both cell types, and reduced migration velocity and collagen contraction in fibroblasts. The authors also reported higher UV emissions than other studies have found3,4,5 and did not follow international measurement standards,6 he adds.
The phosphor blocks most but not all of the UV light, which is radiated along with visible light.
The risk to normal and photosensitive individuals from exposure to light from compact fluorescent lamps. To combat hyper-infectious agents, like Clostridium difficile (C-diff) or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), doctors are turning to a different method of disinfection to destroy bacteria by tearing their DNA apart with UV light. The most common form of ionising damage incurred by humans is sunburn, though UV rays will burn through a cornea if given the chance.
Xenon pulse lamps, flash a UV light much more energetic than what Mercury-vapour can produce, which reduces disinfection time, and utilise an intert gas instead.
Through the years, physicians have developed a variety of treatments in an attempt to control and cure acne. Once the bacteria become trapped beneath a layer of dead skin and oil, they produce inflammation and the condition known as acne.
Another procedure involving light, pulsed light and heat energy therapy, combines light and heat to target the principal causes of acne. Depending on the treatment, a doctor or technician may use a wand attached to a machine to deliver pulses of light to the skin.

Blacklights also produce light in the UV spectrum, with wavelengths just shorter than visible blue light. While there is certainly some truth to this, the scientific research indicates that UV exposure, tanning and sunburns are a mixed bag when it comes to acne.
There are no established guidelines on the amount of exposure or treatment frequency for treating acne.
Many don’t realize, however, that a suntan, like a sunburn, also indicates an injury to the skin. For those with skin prone to acne, sun exposure can be a double-edged sword; they may be reluctant to use sunscreen to avoid adding grease to their face, but the unprotected exposure actually leads to more skin damage and likely more oil, so more clogged pores and acne. SPF, of course, stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is a measure of how long a product protects the skin against sunburn when compared to how quickly the skin would burn without that protection.
Temporary acne relief may last for the first few days after sun exposure, but acne generally returns quickly, and sometimes more severely. For example, it is possible it will also produce visible light, but it can also operate using a black light. These effects can also help reflect very vibrant colors, which have glowing phosphors that often react with invisible UV light. However, the tanning beds can offer UV light at a much higher concentration, thus quickening the time it takes to receive the desired tan level. The theory behind the treatment for the seasonal disorder is that humans also need a certain amount of UV light and that may not be available in sufficient quantities during the winter months when people tend to spend less time outdoors and the days are shorter.
In order to get a tan, and then to maintain it, you have to go anywhere from once a week to a few times a week. Jane is also co-hosting a half-day writing and publishing workshop on 4 September, following the conference. At least in the US, facilities are very aware how much the environment can impact risk for infections. Researchers discovered that frequent exposure to UV light increases the risk of skin cancer.
These light therapies, when done in junction with certain medications, prove more effective against acne. UV-B and UV-C light are both capable of causing damage to DNA and the collagen matrix that supports the skin. On the positive side, a tan (or a sunburn) can even out one’s complexion, decreasing the appearance of acne. Ultraviolet light therapy is also administered in many dermatology clinics, primarily for the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are one wavelength category of electromagnetic energy that can’t be seen by humans.
SPF 15 means that a person can stay in the sun for 15 times longer than they could without that protection, and without burning. Acne-prone skin, just like any skin, should be protected from UV damage by using oil-free products containing a good SPF of at least 15. The danger is especially potent for those who use tanning beds, according to the American Medical Association, which states that the beds do increase the risk for cancer. As such, they require a clear line-of-sight unobstructed by shadows, dust or fluids preferrably in a sealed environment, which allows cycling air currents to repeatedly pass under the lights. A UV acne treatment releases a wavelength of light, which passes through the infected follicle. Other methods have been developed that use light therapy to treat acne but do not use harmful UV light. Longer wavelength UV light can efficiently excite the porphyrins in Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, killing the bacteria in the same fashion as blue light phototherapy. In addition, research indicates that UV light is toxic to the bacteria that cause acne, although it is unclear whether UV light penetrates the skin deeply enough to have much benefit in this respect. When UVB rays penetrate the epidermis, the skin reacts by stimulating melanin production to limit the depth of future radiation exposure. So, for instance, if a person can spend only 10 minutes in the sun without burning, SPF 15 would extend that to 150 minutes, and SPF 30 would protect the skin for up to 300 minutes. Covering the skin with loose-fitting clothing, and shading the face with a hat can also protect the skin. I told her maybe she should just learn to look at the world without ultraviolet light, but she is obsessive compulsive in her cleaning habits, kind of like Felix in the Odd Couple. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “UV light can damage the skin and is no longer used to treat acne. It is possible that the increase in skin temperature during an acute sunburn may make sebum less viscous (less sticky), aiding in clearance of sebum plugs. This estimate, of course, depends on physical exertion and product exposure to water, both of which could mean that sunscreen needs to be re-applied more quickly. I think if you need a tan, our sun is a better source of energy for that, but even there you need to be careful and use the right kind of skin protection. Finally, UV exposure appears to modulate the immune response in the skin, inhibiting or depleting certain classes of white blood cells called Mast Cells and Langerhans Cells, which are involved in immune activation and inflammation. This is because 99% of the ultraviolet radiation that makes it through the ozone layer are of that wavelength group. Depletion of these cells could potentially result in short term improvements in inflammatory acne. Also, since UVA rays don’t cause sunburn, it is very difficult to measure the amount of exposure an individual may receive. On the negative side, UV light can change some non-comedogenic molecules into comedogenic molecules, potentially aggravating acne in the long term.

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