Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Free ZESA bulbs could be deadly

Free Zesa bulbs could be deadly

Sunday, 08 May 2011 12:10


ENERGY saving bulbs, which power utility Zesa wants to distribute, could 
cause cancer, a study revealed.
Zesa claims that it wants to distribute six million bulbs in the next three 
months, but studies have revealed that the bulbs contain mercury, which 
could cause breast cancer and migraine headaches among a number of ills.

A study carried out in Germany warns that the energy saving bulbs should not 
be left on for extended periods, as they emit poisonous materials when 
switched on.

“For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away 
as possible from the human environment,” Peter Braun, who carried out the 
tests revealed to The Telegraph.

The bulbs reportedly emit a number of carbolic acids, which the researcher 
claims could directly lead to cancer.

Another researcher claims that electric smog develops around the bulbs and 
this could be detrimental to health and the environment in the long run.

The researcher said she only used the bulbs economically, saying she always 
left her windows open when the energy saving bulbs were on.

The latest report follows claims by Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at 
Haifa University in Israel, that the bulbs could result in higher breast 
cancer rates if used late at night.

He said that the bluer light that bulbs emitted closely mimicked daylight, 
disrupting the body’s production of the hormone melatonin more than 
older-style filament bulbs, which cast a yellower light.

The Migraine Action Association has warned that they could trigger migraines 
and skin care specialists have claimed that their intense light could 
exacerbate a range of existing skin problems, The Telegraph said.

Zimbabwe faces biting power shortages and Zesa claims it will be able to 
save power by introducing these energy savers.

Zesa spokesman, Fullard Gwasira conceded that the bulbs carry mercury, which 
is detrimental to health, but said the contents were too small to cause a 
health scare.

“For there to be a health problem you need at least 50 bulbs and they are 
only a problem when they are broken,” he said.

Gwasira said the power utility will engage local authorities on disposal of 
the bulbs, so they would not cause environmental harm when disposed off.

He accepted international research into the issue, but said Zesa had also 
done its own research and were following in the footsteps of Namibia, Angola 
and Europe in rolling out the energy savers.


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