Beware Halogen Bulbs

High-tech lighting may be as bad as sunlight for causing skin cancer

AS THE OZONE LAYER THINS, PEOPLE MAY SPEND more time indoors to avoid the skin cancers and cataracts likely to result from more ultraviolet light reaching the earth's surface. That strategy could backfire. Like the sun, the high- intensity quartz-halogen lights used increasingly in homes and offices emit ultraviolet as well as visible light, and there is now evidence that they, too, can cause skin cancer.

Two scientists at the University of Genoa, Italy, noted that the rays coming from unshielded quartz-halogen lamps can induce mutations in the DNA of bacteria. Since genetic mutations are one cause of cancer, they decided...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!