Lupus International Urges Congress to Amend H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

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Lupus International recently issued the following letter to their constituents nationwide.

Lupus International recently issued the following letter to their constituents nationwide:

Dear Lupus Awareness Advocate,

Congress recently passed and our President signed into law, H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This bill states common incandescent light bulbs will begin being phased out by 2012. Congress has not considered all the ramifications of this bill, and unfortunately it will adversely affect many Americans. Their health and well-being will be compromised.

Forcing people to be energy conscientious at the expense of other’s good health is not constitutional and could create many legal issues at the expense of taxpayers. The exemption provisions, which were written into the bill, are too obtuse and inaccessible making it impossible for most anyone to take advantage of them.

Fluorescent and halogen lights, due to the ultraviolet rays that they emit, adversely affect many lupus patients. It is highly recommended that patients wear sunscreen to prevent a potentially life threatening “flare” of their condition. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Exposure to ultraviolet light can stimulate the immune system, causing a “flare.” This “flare” can cause many complications of the illness including kidney failure, intense physical pain, neuropathy, migraines and a variety of other symptoms.

Exposure to ultraviolet light from fluorescent light bulbs, which are the only viable alternative permitted by the bill, is truly asking a great deal of someone in the sanctuary of ones own home, who is constantly protecting themselves outside or in their work environment.

Lupus International recognizes the importance of energy conservation. However, our government put into law a bill that would essentially make many Americans unhealthy.

According to the January 2008 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, candidate environmental triggers of SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) include ultraviolet light, demethylating drugs, and infectious or endogenous viruses or viral-like elements. In simple terms this also means that if you don’t have lupus the exposure to ultraviolet light emitted by the new acceptable fluorescent light bulbs can cause you to manifest lupus or related conditions.

Lupus International at this time asks you to read statements from candidates running in the presidential primaries. We asked each of them what their position was on the new law. Here are the responses from the candidates who are still running:

Democratic candidate Barack Obama supports updating federal lighting efficiency standards to ensure that new lighting technologies are phased into the marketplace. He supports legislation phasing out traditional incandescent light bulbs, and would also support an amendment to better protect those who would be medically adversely affected by the elimination of traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Republican John McCain, was not able to supply a formal statement, however, his policy advisors indicated this is a concern and that he is interested in protecting those affected by this bill.

Republican Ron Paul, “I was not able to be in Washington when the bill banning incandescent light bulbs was voted on; however, had I been able to vote on this bill, I certainly would have voted no. As president, I will work to repeal the ban on incandescent light bulbs. If I am not able to gather sufficient support in Congress for a repeal of the incandescent light bulb ban, my administration will work with the Lupus International Foundation, and other parties adversely affected by this outrageous, unconstitutional action by Congress, to mitigate the harm done by the ban”.

Lupus International did not receive responses from Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Mike Huckabee or Republican Mitt Romney.

All presidential primary candidates were contacted. Of those not currently in the race, only Democrat John Edwards expressed a willingness to help and support this issue.

Please take the time to sign the Lupus International petition to get the ENERGY AND INDEPENDENCE ACT OF 2007 AMENDED to make access and economic alternatives realistic for lupus patients and others affected by ultraviolet light.

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Christina Kelly
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