Before changing fluorescent light bulbs, you might want to hear this. New research reveals improper handling or dropping of fluorescent light bulbs could have a negative impact on the ears.
Before changing fluorescent light bulbs, you might want to hear this. New research reveals improper handling or dropping of fluorescent light bulbs could have a negative impact on the ears. At the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Meeting in Denver, researchers presented the results of a study involving 58 employees at a fluorescent light bulb manufacturing company. The findings suggest noise, along with the inorganic mercury found in fluorescent lights, have an impact on the auditory system. After 6 months of exposure to inorganic mercury and noise, more than 36 percent of the 116 ears tested received skewed frequency levels and 25 percent of the ears had wave pattern abnormalities. Researchers observed slight hearing loss in 31 percent of the ears after exposure to mercury and noise. Chronic organic mercury intoxication is known to cause hearing impairment, balance problems, speech trouble, numbness, and blurred vision. Due to the current energy crisis in Brazil, the use of fluorescent lights which uses inorganic mercury has increased. Researchers from Brazil’s leading medical schools hope the results of this study can help warn the industry and population of the health risks involved with these lights. They say, “As public use of fluorescent lighting increases, employers, health staffs at emergency units and public health centers should be trained to recognize symptoms of acute and chronic mercury poisoning and its consequences.