Lighting ban leaves migraine sufferers in the dark

I try to keep this blog positive. It is about what I can do personally about the environmental situation (mostly the garbage problem.) I also don’t like to criticize other people’s efforts because I think every effort makes a difference. That being said, I don’t think that applies to the government and politics. Today I saw an article in the Metro (which I generally try to avoid because it often makes me angry) that I have to complain about. The headline is FEDS FLICK THE SWITCH and it is about Canada’s plan to phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012. I think it is a terrible idea. The article itself explains that “The ban on light bulbs will not bring a major reduction in Canada’s total emissions-probably less that one percent. But it is still seen as significant because it signals a willingness by the government to impose binding regulations…. It also allows the government to tap into a strong desire by voters to do something practical to contribute to environmental well-being.”

It’s another pacifier like recycling. It’s the government saying, “How can we not really change any thing important but make people feel like we have so we can get votes?” “How can we pretend to care about global warming without changing our way of life?”

URRRRRRG!!!! The reason I am really mad about this is partially, of course, a personal one. I am a migraine sufferer and even the newest technology in more efficient(aka florescent) bulbs triggers migraines. Switching to candles or old fashioned lanterns don’t work because they too flicker. This is not an entirely selfish complaint as I am not the only one who will suffer from this law. According to the Migraine Association of Canada, over 3 million Canadians suffer from migraines. There is a variety of triggers, that aren’t the same for everyone, but flashing lights are on the top of the list, and florescents flash. Supposedly it’s imperceptible to the human eye, and I’m not saying that migraine sufferers have supernatural powers, but I do know, we notice the damn flashing! It makes us feel like our head is in a vice! For for some of us, it also means we lose vision temporarily, vomit, have enhanced sensory perception so that ever little whisper and whiff of scent physically hurts. There are also LED lightbulbs, which I haven’t had much luck with( they still appear to be migraine inducing), but I should do some

This is not an entirely negative post. I do have solutions. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any other lighting options, but there are many other areas the government can focus on. I say, scrap this crappy plan and instead ban styrofoam, ban plastic bags, limit the amount of garbage people can put out and charge for it, limit the amount of water and energy we can use, limit gas, schedule a number of days per week that people are not allowed to drive cars. There are so many things that could be done that will actually make a significant difference and not involve depriving over 3 million people of light.

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4 Comments

Filed under garbage laws

4 responses to “Lighting ban leaves migraine sufferers in the dark

  1. First, can I offer you my stash of recently-replaced incandescent bulbs? I’ve got a dozen, and I’ve been desperately trying to find a non-landfill destination for them. Want them? I’ll pay the postage!

    As an engineer, your issues with fluorescents makes me wonder what the alternatives are that are non-incandescent. My first thought is that the “flashing” is caused by running on 60Hz alternating current. If you can find a light source that can run on direct current, that might be the solution. It might take some experimenting.

    Three million people, plus their immediate families? Plus 10x that in the US? That right there is a VERY viable market for a migraine-friendly light source. Drop me a line about my incandescents, and lemme think on a light source for you too.

  2. Andrew
    Sure, I’ll take your light bulbs. Thanks!Do you live in Toronto? If you find a more efficient, migraine-free light source, please keep me posted!

  3. No, I’m not in Toronto. Don’t worry, I’ll send the bulbs in entirely reusable packaging. I’ll even pack them in popcorn if I have to! 🙂

    I’ll ponder migraine-sufferer-friendly lighting.

  4. starshine92

    LED bulbs may be a suitable replacement; they use less electricity than fluorescents do, don’t contain mercury, last for years, and I’m pretty sure they don’t flicker. Granted, most LED bulbs on the market are for directional lighting (ceiling cans and floodlights), but I have seen a couple traditional-style bulbs out there.

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