Irlen Petition(8000+ signatures)


A coalition of industrialists, environmentalists, and energy specialists is banding together to try to eliminate the incandescent light bulb.  There is legislation proposed in California, Canada, and Australia to sell only fluorescent light bulbs.  While this legislation helps the environment, it hurts people.


Over 8000 signatures!

Nearly one-quarter of the world’s population will suffer negative physical effects if this legislation is allowed to pass.  For this portion of the population, fluorescent light triggers headaches, migraines, stomachaches, fatigue, eye strain, anxiety, and irritability.  Fluorescent lights can also negatively impact the immune system, literally making people sick.  Energy conservation is an important goal that we should strive to achieve, but there are ways to conserve energy that do not hurt 25% of the population. Please don’t let your government hurt the people you love.  Please sign the petition and send this information to others asking them to sign the petition.

Please read the following information on the toxicity of fluorescent lighting.  It was a real eye opener to me; and once you read it, I am sure you will agree and will want to sign the petition immediately! 

Environmental Hazards

Fluorescent light bulbs have a toxic substance in them (mercury) and MUST BE RECYCLED IN A MOST RESPONSIBLE WAY. The lack of recycling will put this mercury into landfills where it will leach into drinking water sources and contaminate landfills.  Presently, there are no city collection services for toxic substances and each person must go to waste disposal sites, driving miles to safely dispose of them.  Casually throwing these bulbs away in the trash may cause untold mercury contamination in the future!  It is inevitable that some bulbs will break in the home, contaminating the area with toxic materials such as mercury vapor and exposing the people, pets, and the environment to these hazards.  The discussion of this issue has been practically blocked.

Mercury has long been known to have toxic effects on human and wildlife. Mercury is a toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative pollutant that affects the nervous system.  As it moves through the environmental media, mercury undergoes a series of complex chemical and physical transformations.  Local, state, and federal agencies should be working to reduce the amount of mercury in the environment, not promoting more usage of this highly toxic chemical. No one currently knows how many fluorescent bulbs are in landfills at this time.  If we expand their usage, we are adding to a monumental mercury pollution problem.

With all of us working together on this and not procrastinating, hopefully we will achieve success.  Such obstacles are worthy of efforts to counteract them.

Thank you,

Helen L. Irlen, MA, LMFT

Executive Director

Irlen Institute International Headquarters


Pilot Project at Edwardsville Elementary: This pilot study looked at presence of Irlen Syndrome/Scotopic Sensitivity in children in School District USD 204. Of the 30 students evaluated, 21 showed evidence of moderate Irlen symptoms and showed moderate-significant improvements in visual perception with colored overlays.

None of the students evaluated were in Special Education. Nevertheless, they were struggling with reading, headaches, frustration, and discomfort from bright lights. The study indicates that a number of children in Edwardsville Elementary School demonstrate Irlen Syndrome. Evaluation and treatment of this condition is likely to lead to improved reading skills and less frustration for many of these students. There should be at least one staff member in each school who is trained to screen students and use the Irlen interventions. Kay Shevling, School Board Member.

State and National Standardized Testing Accept Colored Overlays: The GED, TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education by CTB McGraw-Hill) and CASAS Test of Life Skills ALL accept colored overlays and lighting modifications to be used during testing at the student’s request.

Colored Overlays Accepted for Standardized Testing: California Department of Education’s website lists colored overlays as a standard accommodation (,) Oklahoma also has a website listing colored overlays as a standard accommodation. The easiest method for getting to this website is to do a Goggle search for “colored overlays” and find “accommodations for Students on an IEP or 540 Plan Oklahoma CORE” which will directly link you to the website: The Standards and Assessment Division of Riverside Publishing Company of the Woodcock-Johnson Test list colored overlays are a Category 2 accommodation allowable to all students with an IEP or 504 Plan.

Irlen International Diploma Course. For those of you who are interested in pursuing further study and qualifications, we are pleased to announce the International Diploma of Irlen Institute (IDII). This is a diploma on learning difficulties of which Irlen is one of eight units. The course runs over 18 months and will be conducted on-line through a password-protected portal on the website For information and application form, please email Steve Stanley at

Books. Margit Tuabenschmid, Visuelle ahrnehmungsschwache und Ir;en-Syndrom (Visual perception condition and Irlen Syndrome);ISSN 1431-7273; ISBN 3-631-52374-2, A German book edited by Univ. Prof. Dr. Richard Olechowski. In the introduction, Univ. Prof. Dr. Richard Olechowski states that the study on Irlen Syndrome is an “important research result for special and remedial education.” The placebo controlled research study proves the significant advantages in reading rate and reading accuracy using Irlen coloured overlays for children with Irlen Syndrome.

LouAnne Johnson, author of the best selling book that inspired the movie Dangerous Minds, has written another book, the Queen of Education, in which she states, “In my own experience, about one-half of a given class of remedial readers showed signs of scotopic sensitivity and responded positively and immediately to using overlays to read. Other teachers have reported similar success.”

Community College Research. Brenda Elliott, an Irlen Screener at one of the community colleges, has been testing and providing overlays to her students in GED or Adult High School programs. She has them take the TABE testing without overlays and then with overlays within less than a week. Improvement ranged from 1.5 grade levels to 4.7 grade levels. The mean improvement was 3.4 grade levels.

Brain Research. Initial results of brain scans of a few individuals with Irlen Syndrome. showed a 4 standard deviation in hyperexcitability and delayed processing. Over excitability alters the input which leads to difficulty with visual integration and visual processing.

Navy Research. The U.S. Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) are sponsoring the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL) to assess the prevalence and possible impact of Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrom or Irlen Syndrome. They also plan to assess the effectiveness of colored overlay intervention.

Courses. Irlen Center Boston with Cambridge College Professional Development, The Distance Learning Program (DLP). “The Brain and Irlen Syndrome” EED641 Course may be taken separately or as part of the Applied Neuroscience Certificate Program. For details contact

Protect Migraineurs from Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

On,(400+ signatures)

Contact: Diana Lee, editor, Somebody Heal Me

Please sign this petition asking Congress to amend the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 to meet the objective of promoting energy efficiency while also protecting the health of Americans who will be negatively affected by the current law’s focus on CFLs.

Please sign this petition asking Congress to amend the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 to meet the objective of promoting energy efficiency while also protecting the health of Americans who will be negatively affected by the current law?s focus on CFLs.

Saving energy and putting less waste into landfills is a worthwhile and noble goal. However, the decision of the U.S. Congress to mandate phasing out of incandescent light bulbs is of grave concern to citizens whose health is adversely affected by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

The Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law in December 2007, mandates phasing out incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy efficient bulbs starting in 2012. While CFL use is not required by this legislation, CFLs will undoubtedly become more common. They are more affordable than other options, such as light emitting diode (LED) lighting. Additionally, many people are simply unaware of the potential harm they hold for people with certain health conditions and do not know to avoid their use.

For some people with migraine disease, CFLs trigger debilitating migraine attacks. Migraines impact more than 32 million Americans and have a devastatingly negative influence on the economy and the lives of those who are plagued by them. According to the Irlen Institute, research at the University of Birmingham in England showed that many migraine sufferers are sensitive to the flickering from fluorescent lighting, TV screens, and computer monitors. Proponents of switching to CFLs often claim newer CFLs do not have the visible flicker of older CFLs and regular fluorescent light bulbs. However, just because the flicker is imperceptible to the eye does not render it imperceptible to the brain. The brains of migraineurs are extremely sensitive and tend to overreact to stimuli that would not bother the ordinary person. In fact, most migraineurs experience photophobia, extreme sensitivity to light, during an attack.

CFLs are thought to negatively affect some people with other health conditions, too, such as lupus, epilepsy, and autism. People whose health is affected by CFLs will become increasingly shut out of public life as businesses and institutions switch to CFLs. They will be rendered unable to do even the most basic tasks, such as banking, grocery shopping and other daily errands.

Migraine Disease and CFLs – Myths:

(1) Claim: CFLs cause migraines. FALSE

CFLs do not “cause” migraines. Rather, CFLs have been identified as a trigger that brings on an attack for some people with the genetic tendency to experience migraines.

(2) Claim: There is no evidence establishing CFLs as a migraine trigger. FALSE

There is anecdotal evidence but currently no scientific evidence supporting the notion that CFLs are a migraine trigger for some people. However, the issue has not been studied. Until the issue is studied scientifically under appropriate conditions and parameters, the reports of some migraineurs that CFLs are a trigger for them is all we have to go on. This does not diminish their experiences. Rather, it reminds us that this is an area in which more research is desperately needed.

3. Claim: People who claim CFLs are a migraine trigger are secretly hostile to ecologically friendly laws. FALSE

The concern about CFLs triggering migraines is in no way based on
a hostility toward protecting the environment. In fact, we acknowledge
that there are alternatives to CFLs that meet the same ecological
objectives without putting the health of millions of citizens at risk,
such as LED light sources. Rather, this is a public accommodation issue. Spaces open to the public should be strongly encouraged to use LED lighting so that everyone can safely participate in life outside the confines of their homes.

Thank you for supporting this effort.

the Migraine Disease & Headache Bloggers Association

One thought on “Petitions

  1. Pingback: Lights Out: Another Dim Idea | Right Wing Nation

Leave a Reply