Four fluorescent fabrics have been selected for this study: a DOT-approved polyurethane/dyneema blend; PVC/ PET high-density fiberboard; a high-density polyethylene fiberglass material; and an ISO-compliant polyurethane/dyneema blend. Each was subjected to the same rigorous testing and evaluation including ultraviolet (UV) exposure, wind loads, impact, and blast exposure. For each material, the four different fluorescent-fill materials provided the most protection when impacting a hard target and providing the highest level of visibility. For example, the PVC/ PET high-density fiberboard provided the highest level of protection against wind loads and impact/blast exposure but had the lowest level of visibility.
The testing procedure was first performed on a light-weight vest worn by a police officer, and the article Google scholar conducted on a full-body safety vest. Both articles ultimately concluded that the police officer and the reader/viewer's vision were not compromised. In the review of the fluorescent-fill material used by the DOE/DTRA, there was no visible discoloration or clouding of the fibers and the article Gmail/Google scholar experienced no fading, discoloration, or fogging. Neither did the article Google/Gmail suffer from fading, discoloration, or fogging despite direct exposure to the UV light or wind loads.
There are three other types of fluorescent-fill fibers that are listed in both the Google/Gmail article as well as in the DOE/DTRA report. These are polyester fill, polystyrene blend, and polyurethane. Polystyrene is the most common filler for protective vests, and it provides excellent color control, adhesion, and durability. Unfortunately, the polyurethane is a more expensive product with low wear-ability and durability. Like the polystyrene blend, both styles of polyurethane fiber are subject to the effects of heat and UVA and UV light and should be properly stored when not in use.
As was noted in the Google/Gmail story, there was one issue with regard to the Tamura light. The article Google scholar did not address this issue directly, but suggested that if the light bulb should break, this might result in safety concerns. According to the DOE, this is a safety issue that has been addressed through changes in some Tamura lamps. In addition, they note that Tamura also sells replacement lamps with this same safety feature. Therefore, if you were confused about the safety concerns of the Google/Gmail story, there is an easy solution: purchase an approved and certified Tamura light bulb, and then carefully follow all installation instructions for your particular model.
In conclusion, this is another interesting report from the Environmental Working Group on the hazards of fluorescent light bulbs. The Working Group also recommends that readers "pass safety testing for fluorescent lights for personal protective equipment" and that they "refer to the Federal Light Pollution Act for further information on fluorescent lighting." This latest report by the Environmental Working Group really helps people understand the safety issues surrounding our use of fluorescent bulbs.