Survey of chemical substances No. 140, 2015

Odour from energy-saving light bulbs

23-09-2015

The study was initiated due to Recent discussions on odour from energy-saving light bulbs. Through notice on homepages and in the press consumers were invited to forward their smelling energy-saving light bulbs. In total, 47 replies were received and 25 light bulbs were analysed for degassing substances. The results in this project confirm that the energy-saving light bulbs which smell also release substances in concentrations above the odour threshold value. Five of the degassed substances were selected for health and risk assessments: N,N-dimethylformamide, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4), tetrahydrofuran and phenol. The substances were selected due to their harmonised classification as carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction respectively. The risk assessment of the five selected substances was based on a worst-case exposure assessment. Under these conditions, none of the five selected substances constitutes a health problem. Even if energy-saving light bulbs can degas many different chemical substances they are not expected to constitute a health problem.

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