by Joel Shuler
Something we’re exposed to every day could be negatively impacting our health, causing migraines, draining our energy, triggering lupus flare-ups, epileptic episodes and attention deficit issues, and affecting our ability to concentrate and focus.
The culprit may be hovering just above your head: Florescent lighting. Championed for it’s long life and energy-saving properties, florescent lighting now dominates most internal environments – homes, schools, hospitals and health care centers and workplaces.
Light is light, right? Not necessarily. Florescent light emits colors, spectral distributions that are very different than the natural sunlight that supports many of our bodily functions and our circadian rhythm, our body’s biological clock. Current research seems to suggest a link between florescent lighting and disruption of our circadian rhythm, which impacts the balance of hormones such as cortisol and melatonin. This disruption can produce health effects, according to studies, including headaches, fatigue and weight gain. Some studies link the florescent spectra to attention deficit, dyslexia, lupus and epilepsy symptoms, insomnia and sleep issues and even to an increased risk of cancer.
A California-based company that specializes in lighting products and has a San Antonio connection stumbled upon a solution: light-filtering safety sleeves that reduce the glare and filter out UV radiation. Marketed as NaturaLux™ sleeves and distributed by Diffuser Specialist, which has a major distribution warehouse in San Antonio, the filters have transformed indoor work and learning environments. Fewer headaches, less fatigue, longer attention spans, greater self-control, increased productivity have been some of the results.
Those who manufacture and sell the NaturaLux™ filters have been amazed. “We knew that reducing the glare could help lupus patients, who are sensitive to florescent light, but we’ve been amazed at how many people have said they’ve experienced tremendous relief, and shared how their children and students are behaving better and learning better,” says Joe Florimonte, president of the company that manufactures the filters.
Florimonte shared a letter from an occupational therapist who was working with a child with autism. The child spent much of the time under a desk or covered with pillows in a corner. After filters were placed over the florescent lights, “he is able to sit at his desk and engage in writing and reading activities,” the teacher wrote. Another child she worked with had cerebral palsy. Prior to the filters being installed, he frowned much of the time and held his head down. Under the filtered light, his frowning decreased and he held his head up and reached to grasp things more accurately, the therapist wrote.
The key to the filters’ success seems to be the combination of the way the filters remove UV rays, reduce florescent glare and “color-balance” the light. Nick Griffin at Diffuser Specialist in San Antonio says the company doesn’t make health claims about its NaturaLux™ filters, but he invites anyone, particularly employers, schools and health care professionals, to try the filters and experience the difference.
“It’s actually a challenging product to sell because people who hear about it have a hard time believing that a plastic filter can have so many positive benefits,” says Griffin, who leads the San Antonio NaturaLux™ sales team. “We’re not experts in the medical science, but the testimonials and letters are so heartfelt, and they motivate us to continue to encourage people to try them and experience the difference.”
For more information about NaturaLux™, visit www.naturalux.com. To reach Nick Griffin at Diffuser Specialist in San Antonio, call 210-340-1400 or visit www.diffuserspecialist.com. Joel Shuler is the publisher of Natural Awakenings San Antonio.