- What are electromagnetic fields?
- Static and low-frequency fields
- What are static and low-frequency electric and magnetic fields?
- Direct and alternating voltage
- Effects of static and low-frequency fields
- Reports & Evaluations
- Energy saving lamps
- Static magnetic fields and human health
- Radiation protection relating to the expansion of the national grid
- Basics transfer of electrical power
- High-frequency fields
- What are high-frequency fields?
- Applications high-frequency fields
- Radiation protection in mobile communication
- What is mobile communication?
- Reports and evaluations
- What is optical radiation?
- UV radiation
- What is UV radiation?
- Sun but safe!
- Effects of UV radiation
- Protection against UV radiation
- UV index
- Infrared radiation
- What is ionising radiation?
- Radioactivity in the environment
- Where does radioactivity occur in the environment?
- What is the level of natural radiation exposure in Germany?
- Air, soil and water
- Building materials
- Industrial residues (NORM)
- BfS laboratories
- Applications in medicine
- Radiation protection in medicine: international activities
- Applications in daily life and in technology
- Radioactive radiation sources in Germany
- Register high-level radioactive radiation sources
- Type approval procedure
- Cabin luggage security checks
- Radioactive materials in watches
- Ionisation smoke detectors (ISM)
- What are the effects of radiation?
- Effects of selected radioactive materials
- Consequences of a radiation accident
- Cancer and leukaemia
- Genetic radiation effects
- Individual radiosensitivity
- Epidemiology of radiation-induced diseases
- Ionising radiation: positive effects?
- Risk estimation and assessment
- Radiation protection
- Basic information
- Occupational radiation protection
- Nuclear accident management
- What is an emergency?
- What happens in an emergency?
- Federal and state tasks
- In the event of an emergency
- Measuring networks
- Exercises for emergency situations
- Defence against nuclear hazards
- Service offers
- Radon measurements
- Incorporation monitoring
- Biological dosimetry
- Online library
- About us
- Science and research
- Research concept
- Scientific collaborations
- EU research framework programme
- BfS research programme
- Third-party funded research
- Departmental research
- Selected research projects
- Selected research results
- Professional opinions
- Science Council
- Laws and regulations
- BfS Topics in the Bundestag
Compact fluorescent lamps (energy-saving lamps) are safe to use under radiation protection aspects
- Compact fluorescent lamps are safe to use for general lighting purposes in the household under radiation protection aspects.
- Regardless of complying with limit values, the precautionary reduction of preventable exposures is a proven measure in radiation protection.
- The BfS recommends labelling lamps which also take account of precautionary radiation protection with, for example, the Blue Angel (RAL-UZ 151).
Compact fluorescent lamps are safe to use for general lighting purposes in the household under radiation protection aspects. The existing investigations on the emitted optical radiation and the generated electric and magnetic fields indicate that - even when used at close distances - the exposure to the individual stays below the internationally recommended limit values for the protection of human health.
Some publications on the radiation from compact fluorescent lamps apply emissions criteria for evaluation which were drawn up for other product categories. One example is the criteria for low-radiation computer screens established by the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO). The criteria for this comparatively low-radiation emitting product category are based on the idea of minimisation, though limited by the condition of being technically feasible for exactly this product group. The criteria are not directly related to health and - as far as technical feasibility is concerned - cannot be transferred to another group of products such as lamps without being tested. In Germany, criteria for lamps which are based on what is technically feasible have been drawn up by now (Blue Angel (RAL-UZ 151)).
As far as several characteristics relevant for radiation protection are concerned, there is only a slight difference between incandescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps. With common fluorescent tubes, illuminants using a technology very similar to that of compact fluorescent lamps, have long been commercially available and used in households.
Proven measure in radiation protection: Reducing preventable exposures as a precaution
Regardless of complying with limit values, the precautionary reduction of preventable exposures is a proven measure in radiation protection. In the present case, precautionary recommendations are particularly justified by the following facts:
- UV radiation has been classified as carcinogenic (cancer-causing);
- even weak UV radiation can cause adverse health effects;
- health risks from electric and magnetic fields at frequencies in the kilohertz range have been much less investigated than risks from fields in other frequency ranges including the UV range; as a result there are additional uncertainties in the health risk assessment.
On account of general precautionary considerations and the facts mentioned above, lamps used in the household, for example, should only emit little electromagnetic radiation outside the visible wavelength range.
Considerable variation between different lamps regarding emitted radiation
Measurements carried out by the BfS and the limited data published by third parties show that the compact fluorescent lamps available on the market may vary considerably with regard to the radiation emitted outside the visible wavelength range even though international limit value recommendations are complied with. This observation also applies to lamps using other technologies.
For this reason, the BfS recommends that producers should label lamps which also take account of precautionary radiation protection as far as technically feasible, in a way that can easily be identified by consumers. A labelling that fulfils these requirements is, for example, the Blue Angel (RAL-UZ 151).
State of 2018.07.06