Incandescent bulb ban may be too early

EU must balance health and environment concerns

A blanket ban on incandescent light bulbs is not yet practical on human health grounds, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, said today after the Migraine Action Association warned people could suffer attacks because of the bulb’s flicker rate, and major DIY stores reported they had already sold out of 100-Watt bulbs.

In December a technical committee of the European Commission, which sets environmental requirements for energy-using appliances under the Ecodesign directive, proposed that the bulbs be phased out by September 2012. The proposal will now go to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

Sir Robert said:

“Energy-saving light bulbs are clearly good for the environment and we welcome the Commission’s move to reduce the use of incandescent bulbs.

“However, the Commission and the British Government must be careful not to cause pain and disability in the process.

“There are a number of conditions, including epilepsy, lupus, migraine and autism, which can be adversely affected by fluorescent lighting.

“We must make sure that, at the very least, incandescent bulbs continue to be readily available and that no total ban is contemplated before adequate alternatives have been researched and brought into production. This is one of those occasions where we must strike the right balance between the environment and health.”

Top ↑