Beware of free gifts that can damage your eyesight
Dr. Joseph Mercola in his on-line newsletter for Sunday 30th October 2016 warns about the dangers of LED lighting (Light Emitting Diodes). In order to increase energy efficiency there has been a major transition to using LED as a primary indoor light source. However, whilst reducing energy requirements by as much as 95 percent compared to incandescent thermal analogue sources of lighting, the major downsides of LED’s have not been explained.
RISK OF EYE INJURY
Whereas heat generated by incandescent light bulbs, which is infrared radiation, is actually beneficial to your health, LED lighting can have very serious long-term effects on the eyes. It could lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the foremost cause of blindness. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the deterioration of the macula (the region in the eye that controls acute vision), which typically occurs later in life. It can destroy the central vision, which is necessary for reading, driving and other daily functions. It is also the leading cause of permanent impairment of close-up vision in those aged 65 and older.
LIGHT BULBS GIVEN AWAY FREE
In France and in several other countries, these LED light bulbs are being offered free to as many as half of all households under the government’s green energy transition laws. Under the state measure you may receive up to 10 free LED light bulbs according to your income and the number of people living in your household. The LEDs use less electricity than standard bulbs which is why they are being promoted. Now governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting in favour of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives such as LEDs.
SAFETY REPORT RAISES HEALTH CONCERNS
ANSES, the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, published a report in which it observed that risks had been identified concerning the use of certain LED lamps, raising potential health concerns for the general population and professionals. "The issues of most concern identified by the Agency concern the eye due to the toxic effect of blue light and the risk of glare."
The report goes on to say that blue light causes a photochemical risk to the eye, the level of which depends on the accumulated dose of blue light to which the person has been exposed, which is generally the result of low-intensity exposure repeated over long periods. "Blue light is…recognized as being harmful and dangerous for the retina, as a result of cellular oxidative stress," says the report, adding that three groups are particularly at risk; children, populations which are already light-sensitive, and workers likely to be exposed to high-intensity lighting.
The other main risk is from glare. The report says, for indoor lighting, it is generally agreed that luminance higher than 10,000 cd/m² (a measure of luminance) causes visual discomfort whatever the position of the lighting unit in the field of vision. Because the emission surfaces of LEDs are highly-concentrated point sources, the luminance of each individual source can be 1000 times higher than the discomfort level. The level of direct radiation from this type of source can therefore easily exceed the level of visual discomfort.
The question that has to be asked is whether governments that are promoting LEDs in an effort to increase energy efficiency, are at the same time compromising the health and in particular the eyesight of their own people?