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LED Lights May Harm Your Health

Eye health is at risk from the phototoxic blue-rich light and excess luminance emitted from many LED light sources. Argus/Adobe

Eye health is at risk from the phototoxic blue-rich light and excess luminance emitted from many LED light sources. Argus/Adobe

By Kyra Xavia

Studies are finding several health consequences from LED light exposure. With their installation continuing apace in homes and cityscapes, critics are calling for clinical trials along with greater diligence from the lighting industry.

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Ever since the discovery of fire, people have been drawn to light. Our attraction is so strong that whenever we discover a new means of illumination we tend to embrace it with enthusiasm. The ingrained belief that light is good and dark is bad has kept our love affair with light burning brightly, but this desire for light has blinded us from acknowledging the downsides to indiscriminately illuminating our nights.

With the advent of the electric light bulb in 1879, artificial light enabled us to extend the day, increasing productivity, social activities and economic growth. Darkness was banished with the flick of a switch, and the habit of lighting up the environment pretty went unquestioned until the early 20th century, when astronomers first observed the negative impact of ALAN – artificial light at night. Although their early warnings went unheeded, awareness slowly increased until concerns were raised by doctors and ecologists. The disconcerting truth is that ALAN has all sorts of undesirable repercussions that hinge on one irrefutable fact.

Like most living organisms, humans evolved with an exquisite sensitivity to light that includes a complex and sophisticated light/dark sleep/wake cycle, and ALAN is disrupting it. “We’re living in an illuminated environment unprecedented in the history of Earth, and we cannot argue against 3.6 billion years of...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.