Energy-saving bulbs release cancer causing chemicals

London: Energy-saving bulbs may help cut down your electricity bill, but it can take a toll on your health, for a study has found that they emit cancer-causing chemicals when switched on.

Scientists in Germany have claimed that the energy-saving bulbs should not be left on for long periods of time or placed close to a person`s head because they release poisonous materials.

They should not be used by adults to read or kept near a child`s head all night, the study says.

While it`s known that harmful amounts of Mercury are released if one of the new "green" bulbs is broken, the latest study shows other carcinogenic chemicals are emitted when they`re switched on, the `Daily Mail` reported.

The German study has shown that the chemicals are released as a form of steam.

The harmful substances include phenol — a poison injected by the Nazis to kill thousands of concentration camp victims during World War II — and the human toxins naphthalene and styrene, say the researchers.

Tests showed that the materials used to make the lamps are probably responsible for their potentially harmful side effects.

Andreas Kirchner, from the Federation of German Engineers, said: "Electrical smog develops around these lamps. I therefore use them only very economically. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in proximity of the head. They should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head."

However, experts are not fully convinced.