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.
- Lack of shielding for certain types of radiation (e.g., x-rays) given off.
- Spectrum of fluorescent light is far different than natural lighting.
- Lack of natural levels of ultra-violet light exposure from fluorescent lighting.
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
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.