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Adverse affects caused fluorescent light exposure

This Week In The HSI Healthier Talk Community

If you have recurring headaches or problems concentrating (or if your children do), the problem may be just above your head.

In the HSI Healthier Talk community, a member who goes by “Chiefcragdweller” started a thread titled, “Adverse effects from fluorescent lights?” in the General Health Topics forum. Chief writes: “Does anyone have, or know of, any information about people being adversely affected (i.e. stuttering, generalized weakness, inability to concentrate, etc.) by the frequencies of light emitted by fluorescent lighting or by the sound frequencies emitted by said lights?”

Chief received this quick answer from a member named Jo UK who has some experience with a type of cerebral function test called electroencephalography (EEG): “Fluorescent lights are certainly troublesome for some form of migraine and epilepsy. If you are disturbed by them – stay away or change the type of light. You are right about the frequencies – they aggravate brain waves, causing a photic response in the EEG (I used to work in an EEG department). Photic stimulation was one of the ways to elicit the migraine response, or even cause an epileptic fit.”

Fortunately there are alternatives to standard fluorescent lights. When a member named Timco wonders if the same problems would occur with compact fluorescent lights that are “full spectrum,” a member named Rick responds: “Full Spectrum & Compact Florescents will assist health by their higher CRI (color rendering index) and Intensity. Compact Florescent bulbs run from electronic ballasts at much greater intensities and efficiency. You can replace old standard ballasts with newer electronic ballasts but will need to change bulbs to ‘full spectrum’ for any health benefits.”

A member named Leppert has found relief by using full spectrum bulbs. She writes: “After a fall down 26 steps, where I landed on my head, I had lots of problems with dizziness etc. I found that the fluorescent bulb that I had in my reading light by my chair exacerbated the dizzy problem terribly. We now use full spectrum bulbs in our lamps and it really helped me.”

The standard fluorescent lights used in most public schools may also present a problem for kids. A member named JonB offers this insight: “I have read and seen many reports on ADD and ADHD as well as dyslexia, and there have been a number of reports from various schools on the problem of non diffused flouro’s all claiming that children in class are much harder to control when fluro lights are not diffused. Full spectrum does not cause these problems. This is a major area to look at with children’s behavior.”

A member named Carmen has had some first hand experience here: “I can assure you that it was a problem for this autistic – painful and overwhelming at times – and if ADD is on the same spectrum, I have no doubt that they are also stressed needlessly. Plus, this does not take into account possible deleterious health effects or stress that is on a subconscious level in neurotypical persons.”

You might not expect the topic of fluorescent lighting to prompt a lengthy conversation, but this particular thread continues with more than 60 postings so far, diverging into discussions about sunlight, magnetic fields, chemical sensitivities and essential oils.

Other topics being discussed this week in the Healthier Talk community forums include:


  • Diabetes: Neuropathy need help
  • Stomach Problems/Heartburn: Aspirin
  • Cancer: What do doctors do when they get cancer?
  • General Health Topics: Oral chelation
  • Headaches/Migraine: Celery juice cure
  • Dental: Mouthwash

You can easily reach the HSI Healthier Talk community forums on our web site at Just choose “Forum,” and join in with any of the dozens of discussions about nutrition and natural health care.