Gloomier future fears as 100 watt lightbulb goes

It has illuminated our lives for more than a century - but the old fashioned 100 watt incandescent lightbulb is being phased out as part of a European Union drive to curb climate change and save on energy bills.

It has illuminated our lives for more than a century - but the old fashioned 100 watt incandescent lightbulb is being phased out as part of a European Union drive to curb climate change and save on energy bills.

 

Countries across the EU will start the mandatory phase-out of 100W and frosted incandescent lightbulbs in favour of energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) following a voluntary phase which started in 2007.

 

The new bulbs use up to 80 per cent less electricity than standard bulbs, could cut a home's annual energy bill by up to £37 and save 135kg of CO2 each year, the Energy Saving Trust said. But the move comes amid fears that Britain now faces a gloomier future as well as claims by campaigners that the new energy saving lightbulbs can trigger migraines, exacerbate skin conditions and lead to other health problems.

 

David Price, of Spectrum, an alliance of charities working with people with light-sensitive health conditions, said the Government was "disregarding" public concerns as it took the lead in European efforts to cut down on energy-inefficient products.

"Health is important and it should come over anything else, but they're not looking after ours," he said. They're not listening to the public and aren't talking to the actual sufferers."

 

Brenda Ryder, 56, of Godshill, Ventnor, on the Isle of Wight, who suffers from an extreme form of lupus - a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the body's tissues - described how the growing presence of energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs in the UK had forced her to stay indoors. "I really am housebound," she said.

 

She said exposure to the new lightbulbs led to a reddish-purple rash on her skin and "continuous vomiting", which could last for several weeks, making her "completely dependent" on her husband John, 54.

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