Environmental Lighting Changes and Your
By: Janet L. Hall
With the change of the seasons comes the change in
time (in most of US), weather, your health and your energy consumption.
In the fall and winter months heating is needed to stay warm, lights
get turned on earlier and sometimes are needed during the day, if it's
overcast, and for some health declines, through flu and colds, SAD
(seasonal affective disorder) and vitamin D deficiency.
I can recall as a very young child in the winter months that the
grownups would wrap up a baby, put them in the stroller and either sit
them near a sunny window or even outside for a few minutes each day so
they would get their nourishment, vitamin D, from the sun.
And just last year I was told I had a vitamin D deficiency - how
could this be I thought? Then Dr. Oz recently said on Oprah ....
"While the sun provides a potential bonanza of easy vitamin D, people
who live in northern states—anywhere above Atlanta [that would be
me!]—tend to not get enough.
This nationwide deficiency could be a cause of many serious health
problems, including autoimmune disease, Dr. Oz says. "We think it might
be responsible for a lot of cancers in this
country. If you have multiple sclerosis you ought to be taking vitamin
D. A lot of the things we link up to how much sun touches our body
result from the fact we don't have enough vitamin D."
If you think you might not be getting enough vitamin D—especially
vitamin D3—from the sun, Dr. Oz says to take supplements. "
Testing for vitamin D deficiency is pricey and your insurance might
not pay for the test so you could just start taking vitamin D or
spending at least 15 minutes outside everyday (running to the car and
into a building doesn't count as sun time) or change your environment to
include more sunshine into your spaces.
There are two primary sources of light in our spaces, daylight
(windows and skylights) and electrical lights (bulbs and tubes).
With the release of Al Gore's movie, The Inconvenient Truth, and in
his interviews you may have heard about the energy saving light bulbs he
has been promoting. The energy saving light bulbs are compact
fluorescent lights (CFL's).
Fluorescent lighting (specifically cool-white fluorescent) has been
proven to be bad for your health and the environment. Here's the
Catch-22: energy and environmental savings or better health? Well you
can have both if you purchase full-spectrum CFL's.
You see all CFL's contain a minuscule amount of mercury so one should
know what to do if one breaks in your home and how to dispose of them
properly as they are considered hazardous waste. Here's one of the
catches: "producing the
electricity needed to power an incandescent bulb causes four times the
mercury pollution than does producing the power to run an equivalent CFL,"
according to Gaiam.com report on CFLs:
What About Mercury?
Now don't let that stop you from purchasing CFL's, just make sure you
purchase full-spectrum CFL's (someone PLEASE tell Al Gore to mention
full-spectrum CFL's for the health of us ALL!); here's why:
Jacob Liberman points out various studies in his book, Light: The
Medicine of the Future, pertaining to health and the use of
1938 - Dr. Darell Boyd Harmon, "The Coordinated Classroom" which led
to intensive studies in 1942 and in 1946 findings that with the proper
lighting (full-spectrum lighting), seating and decor the following
illnesses decreased: reduced visual difficulties by 65%, chronic
infections by 43.3% and chronic fatigue by 55.6%. In addition to these
apparent improvements in physical well-being, some comparable results
also were seen in academic
achievement. Harmon's study significantly demonstrated the relationship
between the classroom environment and health and learning
1950 & 60's - Dr. John Ott (a pioneer in full-spectrum lighting)
discovered that mice living under fluorescent's lived an average of 7.5
to 8.2 months, whereas mice living under natural unfiltered daylight
were much healthier and lived an average of 16.1 months.
1973 - Dr. John Ott and the Environmental Health and Light Research
Institute undertook a study involving four first-grade classrooms in
Sarasota, Fl. Two rooms had full-spectrum fluorescent lighting and two
had cool-white fluorescent lighting. The study revealed that some
students in the room with cool-white fluorescent lighting demonstrated
hyperactivity, fatigue, irritability and attention deficits while
students in the room with full-spectrum fluorescent lighting improved in
behavior, classroom performance and as well as overall academic
achievement within one month of installing the full-spectrum lights.
Also found in that study was that several learning-disabled children
with extreme hyperactivity problems miraculously calmed down and seemed
to overcome some of their learning and reading problems. And as another
bonus they found that children had 1/3 less cavities as those in the
room with cool-white fluorescent lighting.
1980 - Dr. Fritz Hollwich conducted a study comparing these two light
sources (cool-white vs. full-spectrum) using the endocrine system (The
endocrine system is instrumental in regulating metabolism, growth and
development, tissue function, and plays a part also in mood) to evaluate
effects. Findings included stress like levels of ACTH and cortisol (the
stress hormones) when sitting under the cool-white and the stress levels
became absent when sitting under full-spectrum. ACTH and
cortisol are metabolic hormones that play major roles in the functioning
of the entire body. Hollwich's observations and studies clarify and
substantiate the observations of Ott.
With that said I hope you remember to take your Vitamin D and
purchase ONLY full-spectrum light bulbs.
- 2010 Janet Hall, The Person/Place Energy
Mover is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and Healer and can help you
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