Advances in Reptile Lighting

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Special Report :
A problem with some of the new high UVB output
fluorescent compact lamps and tubes

The Report: Introduction - Case histories - Lamp test results
Discussion - Summary, Recommendations and Company Responses- References



This is one case from a series of reports compiled as part of an investigation into photo-kerato-conjunctivitis, possibly occurring as a result of excessive low-wavelength UVB radiation under certain brands of fluorescent UVB lamp.

Please do not view this one case without reference to the whole report of which it is a part.


Case History : AR (UK) - Bearded dragon hatchlings (Pogona vitticeps)

Two healthy four-week-old bearded dragon hatchlings were obtained from a breeder on August 31st 2007. They were placed in a brand new vivarium, size 24 in. by 15 in. by 15 in., fitted with a basking lamp and a new ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 lamp, all supplied together as a set by a local reptile shop, along with an artificial basking rock. (Figure 1.) When set up, the Reptisun 10.0 lamp was 6 inches to the side of the basking rock and the bottom of the lamp was 4 inches from the vivarium floor.

Fig. 1.An instruction leaflet was in the box with the Reptisun lamp, and the new owner noticed the recommendations, but found the vivarium was too small to enable the lamp to be positioned at the suggested minimum distance.

In the shop, however, he had seen that there were compact lamps set up in most of their small vivaria, in exactly the same way; and since he had been sold all the equipment together, he assumed this set-up must be suitable.

After 2 to 3 days both babies began to look ill; they had developed swollen eyelids, stopped eating and slept more or less constantly. Their owner did not connect their symptoms with the UVB lamp.

By 4th September, he was bathing their eyes regularly, and trying to force-feed them.

On 6th September one of them died, and the other was walking around as if blind, with its eyes shut. This baby, too, died on 9th September. On that day, the owner found a link to the UV Guide UK website where there was a description of the connection between certain UVB compact lamps and photo-kerato-conjunctivitis. It was only then that he realised what the problem was, but by then it was too late.


 © 2007 UVGuide.co.uk