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Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting: a review of its effects on physiology and health


Background. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting (FSFL) has been credited with causing dramatic beneficial effects on a wide variety of behaviours, mental health outcomes and physical health effects, as compared to other fluorescent lamp types. These effects are hypothesized to occur because of similarity between FSFL emissions and daylight, which is said to have evolutionary superiority over other light sources.

Method. This review, covering the period 1941–1999, critically considers the evidence for direct effects of FSFL through skin absorption as well as indirect effects on hormonal and neural processes.

Conclusions. Overall, the evidence does not show dramatic effects of fluorescent lamp type on behaviour or health, neither does it support the evolutionary hypothesis.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Jennifer A. Veitch, National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Research in Construction, Bldg M-24, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0R6 Canada.
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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