Press release: Sheila Gilmore MP urges Government to seek exemption to lighting ban for those with medical needs

Edinburgh East MP Sheila Gilmore yesterday led a House of Commons debate on the impending ban on incandescent light bulbs, urging Ministers to seek an exemption for those who suffer ill health as a result of exposure to low energy light bulbs.

Low Energy Light Bulb

Following the debate Sheila Gilmore summarised the issue:

EU legislation means old-fashioned incandescent bulbs are to be phased out entirely by September this year. However alterative low energy light bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs can aggravate conditions such as lupus and migraines. Estimates of the number of people in the UK affected vary between 30,000 and anything up to 2 million.

Sheila Gilmore then set out her request for an exemption:

In the debate I asked Ministers to obtain an exemption for people who suffer ill health as a result of low energy lighting to continue to purchase incandescent bulbs.

The Minister said that the Government takes this issue seriously and he would see if there was any wriggle room to allow such an exemption to be put in place.

While I welcome the Minister’s response, the Government will have to act fast – if nothing is done before September people who suffer ill health from low energy lighting will be forced to live the rest of their lives in the dark.

Edinburgh North and Leith MP Mark Lazarowicz also attended the debate, as the issue had been raised with him by constituents also. He said:

We don’t want to discourage people from using low energy light bulbs, as climate change is one of the most significant threats the country faces and reducing our energy consumption is key to tackling it. Equally, however, it is important to realise that for some people there are real health issues arising from the use of low energy light bulbs.