The Health Protection Agency has warned that some energy saving compact fluorescent lights can emit high levels of UV radiation.

The agency found that ‘green’ energy saving bulbs should not be used in close proximity – closer than 30cm or 1ft – as the level of ultraviolet radiation can be equivalent to being outside in direct sunlight.

As an interim measure, the agency has recommended that people who do need lamps within the 30cm threshold should change to low energy encapsulated bulbs immediately.

HPA is calling on the EU relevant product standards bodies and the lighting industry to consider how product standards can be tightened.