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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 : SS (Florida, USA) - Red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)


Two red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) age 9 months were housed in a 60 gallon Rubbermaid container. (Newell Rubbermaid Inc., USA). A new ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 tube was installed on April 8th 2007, replacing an old ESU Reptile "Super UV Coil" 3% UVB Compact Lamp.

This was mounted in a household "clamp lamp" fixture from a hardware store, which had a shiny metallic interior surface. The lamp was clamped onto the edge of the container, set at an angle 10 inches above and to the side of the turtles. The lamp was in use for 12 hours a day.

The turtles initially refused to bask under the new lamp.

After two days, on the morning of 11th April, they began to bask again but by the evening their eyes seemed slightly inflamed. Their owner applied ZooMed Repti Turtle Eye Drops but by the following morning the eyelids of both turtles were severely swollen.

Their owner turned off the Reptisun 10.0 lamp and treated their eyes with the Repti Turtle Eye Drops again. Over the next three days the swelling resolved.

By 14th April, they were back to normal and the compact lamp was moved into a white, non-reflective fixture hung directly above the turtles at a distance of 15 inches. The lamp was only switched on for four hours a day.

The turtles were seen to bask under the lamp and it was thought the problem was resolved. However, on 16th April both turtles had swollen eyelids again and were much less active than usual, swimming and even feeding with their eyes closed.

The lamp was removed altogether. Their owner contacted his veterinary surgeon, who advised him that the eyelids would heal naturally over the next few days, now that the source of the problem was removed, but suggested that continued use of the Repti Turtle Eye Drops would do no harm and probably be soothing.

He also contacted a ZooMed representative who told him that the Reptisun 10.0 Compact Lamp was not recommended for turtles (despite the fact that "Helps prevent soft shell in captive aquatic turtles" is printed on the box) and if it was used, it should be at a distance of two feet from the basking area, and preferably above a screen, as well.

The eyelid swelling was almost gone by 19th April and the turtles were back to normal a few days later.

Their owner then set up the old ESU Super UV Coil-Lamp again, but after two weeks, replaced it with a new ExoTerra ReptiGlo 5.0 lamp. No further problems were seen.

The ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 lamp was submitted to FB for testing (Lamp ref. BW4, estimated use 60 hours).


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