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Parliamentary questions
22 June 2012
Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission

1. The Commission does not consider it necessary to update the regulation on household lamps 244/2009(1) to provide an exemption from the ban on incandescent lighting for those with specific medical needs.

According to the recent opinion of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCEHNIR)(2), there already existsuitable alternatives to incandescent bulbs for all light-sensitive patients, including certain halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diode lamps. SCENIHR recognise that the light spectrum can differ from one lamp model to the other, and recommend that sufficient information is provided to healthcare professionals and their patients to allow them to choose their lighting solutions optimally.

The Commission has forwarded SCENIHR's opinion to the competent authorities of the Member States dealing with product safety under the applicable EU safety legislation(3).

2. In a letter dated 17 May 2012, the UK Government urged the Commission services to arrange for research on the relationship between artificial lighting and various health conditions before 2014, and to encourage a voluntary industry initiative which would develop a list of lamp models suitable for light-sensitive individuals along with supporting information. There has been no suggestion from the UK Government for an exemption for those with specific medical needs.

(1)Commission Regulation (EC) No 244/2009 of 18 March 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for non-directional household lamps, OJ L 76, 24.3.2009.
(3)The Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC (LVD) which, subject to some exceptions, is applicable to electrical equipment designed to operate within the voltage range of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current, seeks to ensure that electrical equipment within its scope both provide a high level of protection and enjoy free movement within the European Union.

Last updated: 2 July 2012Legal notice