CBS drew attention on 3 January to previously little noticed research showing the "eco-bulbs" may emit cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation. We are fortunate indeed that our Greens, unlike their co-religionists overseas, have not managed to force a ban on incandescent bulbs which do not emit that radiation.
The research summary says:
"Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,”
More interesting for me was a passing comment on the effect of a sunscreen element :
“Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles [titanium dioxide often used in sunscreens] were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.” Rafailovich added that incandescent light of the same intensity had no effect on healthy skin cells, with or without the presence of TiO2".
I've long been suspicious that sunscreens cause more harm then they prevent. I think they encourage people to stay too long in the sun, and not to wear covering clothes when they should. I'm not persuaded that they necessarily block the effects that might connect sun exposure to skin caner, even if they block most UV rays. And the advertising for ever stronger screening compounds has lead to exaggerated fear of the sun
I expect to read before too long that the Cancer Society's slip slop slap campaign could be responsible for an epidemic of bad health, by cutting Vitamin D levels with consequent increases in some serious conditions. I did not expect to learn, however, that an ingredient in sunscreen might actually exacerbate damage. We should know more of this!