Fluorescent Lighting

It is well known in the Holistic Medicine community that regular exposure to fluorescent lighting can cause or contribute to health problems. Many years ago, I studied the work of Dr. John Ott. He was a pioneer in the study of the health effects of lighting and magnetic & electric fields on plants and animals. He conducted many studies on plants and humans showing adverse health effects.

Dr. Ott conducted research using natural lighting in a chickenhouse that produced outstanding results. He installed special radiation-shielded, full-spectrum lights in schools to show a significant reduction in behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and academic improvement. (See Academic Therapy, Volume 10, No. 1, 1973. Also, see the comparison between a well-designed study and a poorly design, industry-sponsored study in Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Volume 6, No. 3, 1978.) Some of the causes of health problems from regular, extended exposure to fluorescent light could include:

Regular, extended exposure to fluorescent lighting has been implicated in other disorders as well. In the Volume 7, 1985 Special Subject Issue of "The International Journal of Biosocial Research", the work of John Ott was discussed in more detail. Case histories were presented showing the how the lack of natural lighting and/or exposure to fluorescent lighting might contribute to health conditions such as infertility, tumors, etc. More recent research has shown the importance of light on the pineal gland which affects the brain and hormonal system. Because of this, one should expect that regular, extended exposures to fluorescent lighting may contribute to health problems.

At first, Dr. Ott's work was ridiculed (as innovative work often is). Later in his career he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Loyola University and the Grand Honors Award of the National Eye Research Foundation. Much of Dr. Ott's research was detailed in the books,
Health and Light : The Effects of Natural and Artificial Light on Man and Other Living Things and Light, Radiation, and You How to Stay Healthy.

Exposure to natural lighting and avoidance of fluorescent lighting can be enormously healing for some people. For others, it should be considered a good way to help prevent the development of chronic health problems. The Ott Biolight Systems web page is a commercial web site which includes some additional information about health and lighting.