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The recently passed energy bill includes a mandate that will ban the traditional incandescent light bulb. New research, as reported by the Washington Post, strongly correlates lower melatonin levels with breast cancer. An Israeli researcher explains the connection:
Abraham Haim, a University of Haifa chronobiologist involved in the study, said the findings raise questions about the recent push to switch to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, which suppress melatonin production more than conventional incandescent bulbs. "This may be a disaster in another 20 years," Haim said, "and you won't be able to reverse what we did by mistake." He called for more research before policies favoring fluorescent lights are implemented, and for more emphasis on using less light at night.
This research may be proven wrong, but its another reason why hasty, ill-thought out environmental mandates are bad public policy. Congress should repeal the light bulb mandate.