Energy saving light bulbs 'could trigger breast cancer'
Energy saving light bulbs could result in higher breast cancer rates if used late at night, an academic has claimed.
Energy saving light bulbs cast a bluer light than filament bulbs, mimicing daylight more closely By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent 6:30AM GMT 31 Jan 2011
Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, said that the bluer light that compact flourescent lamps (CFLs) emitted closely mimiced daylight, disrupting the body's production of the hormone melatonin more than older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.
Melatonin, thought to protect against some breast and prostate cancers, is produced and secreted by the brain's pineal gland around the clock.
Highest secretion levels are at night but light depresses production, even if one's eyes are shut.
A possible link between night time light exposure and breast cancer risk has been known for over a decade, since a study was published showing female shift workers were more likely to develop the disease.
Prof Haim explained that a recent study by himself and fellow colleagues had found a much stronger association than previous research between night-time bedroom light levels and breast cancer rates.