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November 20, 2008

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Research- Compact fluorescent lightbulbs radiation warning

The Agency and government departments are calling on the European Union, relevant product standards bodies, and the lighting industry to consider how product standards for lights can be tightened up.

On the back of its research, the HPA is recommending some precautionary measures for the use of certain types of CFLs. It warns that open (single-envelope) CFLs, like the one pictured, should not be used where people are in close proximity – closer than 30cm – to the bare lightbulb for more than one hour a day. In such situations, says the Agency, open CFLs should be replaced by encapsulated (double-envelope) bulbs. Alternatively, the lamp should be moved so that it is at least 30cm away.

Encapsulated CFLs do not emit significant amounts of UV radiation. The larger, long-tube, ‘strip lighting’ fluorescent lights, commonly used in offices, workplaces, and homes can also be used on ceilings without any special precautionary measures.

HPA chief executive, Justin McCracken, stressed: “We are advising people to avoid using the open lightbulbs for prolonged close work until the problem is sorted out, and to use encapsulated bulbs instead. In other situations, where people are not likely to be very close to the bulbs for any length of time, all types of compact fluorescent lightbulbs are safe to use.”

The Government is pressing the EU to take account of the research findings in future European legislation.

Coronavirus advice for employers

This hub page complies all the latest government coronavirus updates. It includes what you can and cannot do in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, workplace advice from multiple sources, including information on welcoming staff back to the workplace and the latest vaccination information.

It also contains a host of useful external links and resources to find further information.

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