The use of fluorescent blue lights in public restrooms is gaining momentum in Europe and it’s not because they add to the ambiance of the space. The lights make it hard for those who inject drugs to locate veins on their bodies. Under these lighting conditions it is also difficult to discern white powders, especially where white surfaces are present. This unconventional lighting feature is being installed in public restroom locations such as service stations, malls and retail stores as well as in private bars and nightclubs.
This application of blue lights is controversial and not endorsed by everyone. In guidelines published by the UK government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) it was advised that, “...due to the increased risks to users and lack of evidence as to its efficiency, blue lighting should not be used in public toilets to deter drug use.” According to Edinburgh’s Sheriff Courts of Scotland the blue lights are less of a hindrance, for many heroin users are now marking their veins prior to entering blue-lit spaces.