New Special Report on UVB Reptile Health Problems

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy All,

I want to bring attention to the new information presented in within the last few hours on the http://www.uvguide.co.uk/ UVB website. See " New Special Report" at the top of the site. A number of us reptile keepers have been helping Dr. Frances Baines with her recent research by contacting the manufacturers, supplying case histories as well as shipping the suspect products themselves to her in the UK. The products involved in this recent study are the ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 Compact Lamps and, more rarely, 5.0 Compact Lamps, Big Apple Herpetological Mystic Lamp, and now the addition of the R-Zilla Desert 50 series lamps. The information added is extensive.

You'll want to read through the information yourself but I might summarize things by saying that at a minimum, these powerful UVB sources need a keeper's special attention to insure that injury doesn't result from their use. I have personally viewed the damage that can be caused by the R-Zilla Desert 50 series when baby panther and veiled chameleons were exposed to it over a period of a few days. Death was the result. The keepers involved in those incidents said that trouble came fast, including skin blisters and snow blindness. The manufacturers/suppliers involved in these products are taking actions to address these issues and more information will follow. Don't panic. If your reptiles are not having problems right now, it is likely that your chameleons or other reptiles are not going to have them meaning that the lamp you are using and its distance to your reptile is safe. READ THE ARTICLE TO BE SURE. Our thanks should go to Dr. Baines and the rest of the group of dedicated keepers and researchers that made the UK UVB possible.
 
Dave, you beat me to it, I was JUST about to post this here. There are some old threads here if I recall correctly about T5s.

Though I'm sure you have done a much better explanation for it.
 

Scooter

New Member
Although I don't use either light mentioned, thank you for presenting the findings of this study here. Very important information.
 
My chameleon Sid suffered from his Reptisun 10.0 compact. The day after I took him to the vet I read this article by chance because it had just been posted on another message board I frequent(I am brand new to this board). I turned off his 10.0 lamp and within a couple of days his eyes were open. Sid seemed eager to eat but was unsuccessful. It was my fault for not placing the lamp far enough away but I didn't know any better. Since I am sorta new to chams and not as hip as some I didn't know exactly what to do. He died this past Thursday while I was at work, he became anorexic. I will not make this same mistake and have learned a lot.
 

PardalisGirl

Avid Member
I Second this....

It is nice to see a report come out about something I have personally experienced and know others to have experienced as well. I have written on about three different threads over the last few months to beware of compact UVB lights. I have used the compact Reptisun lights and the compact Mystic lights. I have had a burn/blister problem with one adult and one baby. I know other people (not on this forum) who have had the same issues. These products get hot spots in them. They also have a high failure rate. The mystic bulb actually comes apart very easily. I'm not familiar with the R-Zilla product. I threw out all the compact UVB lights I had in the house and went back to using the tried and true Reptisun 5.0 and 10.0 tube flourescents that I have used for a decade with no resulting issues.
 
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Jeweledchameleons

Avid Member
quality products indeed.

Earlier this year I attended a local reptile show and was "talked into"
getting some of the 48" 10.0's. vs my usual 5.0 tubes. Fortunately I passed by a few friends at another dealers booth (who shall remain nameless) They pulled me aside and gave me a heads up about how they lost many animals from using these bulbs and urged my returning them to the seller.
Doing so was a bit of a problem, as I had to endure the condescending and arrogant indignation from the seller that seemed more insulted that I would dare to want to exchange "such a superior product" for it's inferior than any possible harm they were reported to cause. He tried to press me as to who had gave me this "wild idea" and how clearly either they or myself didn't know what we were talking about. I stuck to my guns on it, insisting that "more isn't always better" and I've done very well with my current configuration.
To this he replied:
"Well when you get serious and know something, come and talk to me again" complete with a shit eating grin.
By holding my cool, I was able to eventually exchange the 10.0's for the 5.0's that I wanted to begin with.
but needless to say I will never buy anything from that individual's company again.

I'm really happy that this report is out ( it's not just a "rumor" anymore)
and I can't wait to see that pet supply seller eat some crow
( perhaps, even some more than that ) at the IRBA Del Mar Show today.

UPDATE, that individual or their company ( above) didn't attend today.
But I was able print the report out & passed the info on to several breeders
and sellers who were - sorry that I didn't bring enough copies for everyone!
 
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Scotty

New Member
To this he replied:
"Well when you get serious and know something, come and talk to me again" complete with a shit eating grin.
By holding my cool, I was able to eventually exchange the bulbs for the 10.0's
but needless to say I will never buy anything from that individual's company again.

I'm really happy that this report is out (that it's not just a "rumor" anymore)
and I can't wait to see that pet supply wholesaler eat some crow
( perhaps, even some more than that) at the IRBA Del Mar Show today.
What a dickhead...woops can you say that here! Sorry Mods...
Good on you for holding your ground.
Print out that report and politely pass it on to him if you see him at that other show...then tell him to eat that s...t.
I couldn't resist it!
BTW...great thread, that site is awesome!
Scott...
 

PardalisGirl

Avid Member
Earlier this year I attended a local reptile show and was "talked into" getting some of the 48" 10.0's. vs my usual 5.0 tubes. Fortunately I passed by a few friends at another dealers booth (who shall remain nameless) They pulled me aside and gave me a heads up about how they lost many animals from using these bulbs and urged my returning them to the seller.[End Quote]

For clarification purposes in this thread.............The Reptisun 10.0 linear tubes were not among the products covered under the report warning. Only the Compact Reptisun 10.0 and 5.0 bulbs. The Reptisun 10.0 linear tube does not contain the materials thought to cause the injuries and/or issues. You can read all the studies and the report in detail or just look at the main page of it. Neither the Reptisun 10.0 or 5.0 linear tubes have been linked to these issues. The linear tubes do not contain the materials that the products linked to the warning do contain.

As with ANY lighting product you need to take the time to figure out how far away the product needs to be away from the reptile to prevent harm. Reptisun 10.0 linear tubes need to be placed further from the chameleon than the 5.0 linear tube. It should be used on large cages with adult chameleons where you can set up the basking spots at the appropriate distance. They are not safe for a small cage or any cage where it is set up for the chameleon to be at the very top of the cage. I use, and will continue to use, the 10.0 linear tubes on my large cages. I have the lights placed at an appropriate distance from the basking spot. Most of my adult chameleons like to spend their time at about 3/4 of the cage depth. The 10.0 linear tube works well for them. My younger chameleons spend a lot of time walking around the top of the sides and upside down on the top itself. The 5.0 linear tube is appropriate for them.

I just want to clarify this issue before people start throwing out a product that was not even covered in the warning. There are some very good applications for the Reptisun 10.0 linear tube lights. Please do throw out your Reptisun Compact 10.0 and 5.0 bulbs and the other products covered under the warning. Bye :)
 

Jeweledchameleons

Avid Member
PG and others
The point is taken
As I mentioned in another thread that I had quickly skimmed the report that morning after attending
a large Oktoberfest event the night before. :rolleyes:
I was rushed to get to the reptile show that next morning when
I wrote the post and may have overgeneralized in a groggy mind state.

Still, I was specifically warned by others regarding the Reptisun 10.0 linear tubes.
Perhaps, those that had warned me had also used them improperly
on their own young animals that died? They're very experienced breeders...
but also human and may have just swapped the 5.0 tubes for the 10.0.
and that is perfectly understandable for most people.
Which brings up a question as PG touches upon.
Reptisun 10.0 linear tubes need to be placed further from the chameleon than the 5.0 linear tube. It should be used on large cages with adult chameleons where you can set up the basking spots at the appropriate distance. They are not safe for a small cage or any cage where it is set up for the chameleon to be at the very top of the cage.
And where is this information on the products packaging?
I don't remember seeing any on the 10.0 packaging (easily overlooked?)
nor having any such recommendations by the seller at that show.
Nor can I find such distance information on their site
http://www.zoomed.com/html/linear_10.php
I'm not doubting the need to distance the light from the animals
but the distances should be clearly stated on the packaging and website

Since I don't have any linear zoomed 10.0's packaging available on hand
I can't check at the moment.
But it should be "common knowledge" to avoid burns by swapping tubes
as most people would be tempted to do..
Personally, all my set ups are too close for the 10.0's
(especially, with a reflective hood on top that "doubles the UV output").
IF I would have kept & used the 10.0's it would have been against the
"PG's recommended distance exposure" resulting in the types of problems described.
Does anyone have a 10.0 tube with a distance warning on them?
even IF they are not the compact bulbs mentioned in the report.
 
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Here are some pictures of a brand new Retisun 10.0 linear tube. I purchased this lamp about four weeks ago. I have never opened the package until I took these photos.






 

PardalisGirl

Avid Member
Reptisun Linear Tube Instructions.....

Hi there JeweledChameleons :) You are so right about not finding any real instructions on the product or their site. The picture posted showing the "instructions" on the package are not really instructions. The package merely shows how far the UVB penetrates. Not how far you should have the reptile from the light. ZooMed has totally neglected to provide any useful information about the product. If you buy a mercury vapor lamp you will get this huge detailed instruction/disclaimer sheet that one can barely get through. The only good thing that will come out of these recently documented cases of death and injury is that ZooMed, and other companies, will be forced to provide better information with their product.

I hope my last post did not sound condescending or like I'm a know-it-all. I did not mean to be like that, if I was. I have to admit that my knowledge of lighting distance comes from years of keeping other types of lizards from similar habitats. I keep tree monitors which also live in shrubs and trees and get around the same type of sun exposure in the wild that panther chameleons do. The Reptisun 10.0 linear tubes are used on adult monitors and the 5.0 tubes are used on juvie monitors with good results. The only other thing commonly used with them are the mercury vapor bulbs on very big cage applicatons. I'm a lazy geek these days because I prefer to rely on the work of ambitious geeks who read lighting test results and use UVB light meters. I relied on these geeks in the tree monitor realm to set up my monitor cages. I just transferred my use of UVB lights from tree monitors to my chameleons. And that usage seemed to be pretty consistent with others in this group.

Also, I use some "reverse" logic. The Reptisun linear tube packages show how far the light penetrates. I have a mesh screen that reduces the UVB. So my "logic" says that on my big cages where the chameleon spends most of the time at 3/4's of the cage depth the Reptisun 5.0 tube stands no chance of providing adequate UVB, reflector hood or not. So I use 10.0 tubes. On a smaller cage or with chameleons that cruise the upper sides or the top, the 5.0 will penetrate the cage adequately. Also, I use combo light fixtures which are much wider than a normal reflector hood. I know that my hood is going to reflect the UVB rays out more evenly through the cage than a standard hood. I'm not going to have a UVB intense zone right under the light like others may have. Relying on other geeks research and my own "logic" method has worked for me. I've had healthy tree monitors and chameleons. At least until I tried those compact Reptisun and Mystic UVB lights. Then I did see some problems. I did not know the exact property of the bulbs that was causing the problem, but I knew something was seriously wrong and threw them all out.

I think the time has come for me to become a little less lazy about the lighting situation. I read that whole report with the warnings from this thread's provided link from end to end and tried to understand the concepts. Some data sections were a little hard for me to understand but I want to give it another try. I want to sit down and take the time to look at one section of the report that gives UVB indexes for the Reptisun linear tubes as well as all the other products. This particular index shows the UVB strength of the bulbs (compared to full sun at the equator, partial shade, shade, etc. as a index number) at specific distances. I want to determine my goal index number for the chams and then find the distance away the product needs to be to achieve that. Then I am going to break down and buy some sort of meter so I can actually check each cage. Then I want to reconcile these two things and see for myself if I can come to some conclusion I feel comfortable with.

It sounds, Jeweled Chameleons, that you went through a logic process that has been working for your caging situation. Swapping the 10.0 tubes for the 5.0 tubes was the right thing to do for you :)
 
I have personally seen what 10.0 Reptisun Compact(the one that doesn't fit unless you have a deep dome fixture) can do to a chameleon. If you have one, i seriously recommend that you TOSS IT!!! TOSS IT!!!! Take it as a 20 dollar loss. It is not worth having an injured or even dead chameleon because you spent money on the light and don't want to buy a new one!!!!

Adding to what Pardalis girl said, the REPTISUN flourescent 10.0 TUBES are fine as long as you keep them a good distance from the cage.

When i get home this evening, I will post some pics that show what one of those compact 10.0s can do do a cham's skin, even a a good distance from the cage, AND a very short period of use.
 

lele

New Member
And where is this information on the products packaging?
I don't remember seeing any on the 10.0 packaging (easily overlooked?)
nor having any such recommendations by the seller at that show.
Nor can I find such distance information on their site
http://www.zoomed.com/html/linear_10.php
I'm not doubting the need to distance the light from the animals
but the distances should be clearly stated on the packaging and website

Since I don't have any linear zoomed 10.0's packaging available on hand
I can't check at the moment.
I am glad the 10.0 linear bulb issue is being cleared up. I just posted yesterday about Cy's bulging eyes while sleeping and kinyonga directed me to the article (his problem is not caused from his lights). I use only the 5.0 and 10.0 linear. The 10.0 is for my beardie who is in a larger, deep tank.

Yes, there is distance (20") info on the packaging clearly written as well as graphics. But there is not a warning (other than stating that it emits UVB rays). It does say to use 10.0 if using over screen since it (screen) reduces output by 50%, which would lead users to place it right on top of cage and most chams spend the majority of their time within 12" of that light. Personally, I still use the 5.0 on screen and Cyrus has had no MBD problems (have had him for about 1 1/2 years). Darwin (10.0) does not have screen, but the closest he can be to the light is max 12". I wish the cost of UVB meters were not so high. I'm going to work one into my budget as I'd like to use the 5.0 for him if I can. He has had no signs of eye trouble and he's had the 10.0 pretty much since they came out.

lele
 
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-There are unlimited possibilities and orientations for the use of this bulb.
-There are thousands of commonly kept reptiles that benifit from UVB/UVA.

No company could devote the resources to test every bulb in every setup orientation, with every reptiles to provide the 1" thick booklet that would be required to be sent along to detail use of the bulb to the buyer. This is why these companies open send bulbs to groups and individuals who test them, like the UVguide people. There are people that are involved with the UVGuide.co.uk website and the UVBMeters Yahoo group that have actually been hired to help- many of the companies are interested in improving their bulbs from the get go- but they will always be tested and examined by non associated people and parties from the company.

What does it say there in the 5th photo down about turtles and torts...? Hmmmm, these animals are HIGH UV requiring animals arent they.

IMO.
 

Dankmeleon

New Member
i think companies should def be more careful about what animals they picture on those dessert packaging, if I'm not mistaken some of the ones I've seen have chams on them and not just veileds either
 

Jeweledchameleons

Avid Member
IF a common person was to see that they would have no clue
as to the possible damage they could give their animals.

I wonder how many people have had their animals get sick and die
only to blame themselves for lack of experience and not realized
that the product was incorrectly packaged.

Most people have reflective hoods on their lights (doubling the UV)
setting on top of the cage itself...
wouldn't make most cages for chameleons (dare I say) "death traps"?
By doubling the UV intensity at the same level that most
will heat bask at under a regular incandescent bulb
they would be getting a serious overexposure.

and PardalisGirl don't even fret, we're all good!
Thanks for the thought, it's much appreciated! ;)
 
With all due respect, these products arent made for a common person. They are made for people educated on their reptiles needs and someone who is willing to fill the responsibility of keeping- which means up-to-date research. I can see people making the mestake, for sure. But side by side a 5.0 and a 10.0 I think most are going to pick the 5.0.

I addition to that I think the new packaging for the 10.0 no longer has a chameleon on it. However with chameleons being such attractive exotic animals and they seem to stand out far above other reptiles in photos, it's understandable why they are on so many packages of products that might even not relate to them- It's not liek the scientists are creating the box design either.

Just being the other side of the arguement for the conversations sake. These are great bulbs, and based on each ones different levels and spikes accross the wavelength field, combinations of several different grades of UV bulbs MAY produce something closer to natural light, rather than the high peeks offered with but a single bulb of one type.
 
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