The Lack of Effects on Human Muscle Strength of Light Spectrum and Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation in Electric Lighting

Publication Type

Journal Article

LBNL Report Number

LBL-20615

Abstract

In 1982, John Ott summarized his views on adverse effects of fluorescent lighting on human health in Light, Radiation, and You. One claim in this popular book was that fluorescent lighting could influence human muscle strength, as measured by so-called kinesiology testing.

Kinesiology testing claimed by some to aid in diagnosing a variety of illnesses, involves a subjective evaluation of muscle tone in a contracting muscle. In the method used by Ott, the subject stands with an arm held forward, parallel with the floor, and with the palm down. The tester then pushes downward at the wrist while the subject resists this motion. Ott has publicly demonstrated that when a subject looks at a cool-white fluorescent light he is noticeably weaker than when the light is turned off or when a full spectrum fluorescent tube is viewed. Using the same kinesiology testing he also concluded that electric-field shielding (by wire mesh) was needed on fluorescent light fixtures to prevent muscle weakness.

Journal

Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society

Year of Publication

1988

Call Number

LBL-20615