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Almost everyone has thrown over the traditional incandescent light bulb and made the switch to CFLs (Compact fluorescent lamps).  In fact, the production of incandescent bulbs has now ceased completely.  And while many proclaim the environmental benefit of CFLs, research has concluded that they may not be good for us.

Aside from the obvious dangers of the Mercury which CFLs contain, there is a line of inquiry regarding CFLs that is disturbing all on its own.  CFL lighting is the culprit in the increasing number of insomnia cases.

Turns out that CFLs inhibit the production of melatonin, a necessary sleep hormone produced in the pineal glad of the brain.  Melatonin regulates our sleep cycle, telling us when to rise and when it is time to go to bed.  Without the proper amount of melatonin, we are wakeful, restless and experience insomnia.

So you might be tempted to think that CFLs in the workplace should be okay, since you want to be awake and alert during the day anyway.  But no.  Once again, the disruption of our natural circadian rhythm is putting our bodies into an unnatural state.

Not only that, but research has shown a link between CFLs and cancer.  So exposure over long periods of time to CFLs in the workplace not only suppress the production of melatonin, it might even increase the risk of many types of cancer.  And increased melatonin has been proven to help the body fight cancers like breast cancer by reducing tumor growth.  So exposure to CFLs could actually make fighting breast cancer harder.

CFLs may be energy efficient but are they really environmentally friendly if they are putting our health at risk?  What price tag is appropriate to put on a good healthy night’s sleep?  We may have been too quick to phase out incandescent lighting before we investigated all the problems with CFLs.

Sebrina Smith

Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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