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No potential health risks with LEDs, says European Commission

No potential health risks with LEDs, says European Commission

Aug 7, 2017: The European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) today publish the preliminary Opinion on the potential risks to human health of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

The European Commission has asked SCHEER to assess the potential health risks associated with LED emissions in the general population. The review of the published research conducted by the Committee has resulted in valuable conclusions and identified certain gaps in the knowledge on potential risks to human health from LEDs.

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The Committee concluded that there is no evidence of direct adverse health effects from LEDs in normal use (lightening and displays) by the healthy general population.

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Vulnerable and susceptible population (young children, adolescent and elderly people) were studied separately. Children have a higher sensitivity to blue light. Although emissions may not be harmful, blue LEDs may be very dazzling for and may induce photochemical retinopathy, which is a concern especially for children below three years of age. Moreover, elderly people may experience discomfort from exposure to LED systems, including blue LED displays (for example, destination displays on the front of buses will be blurred).

Despite the existence of cellular and animal studies showing adverse effects of LED exposure, their conclusions derive from results obtained using exposure conditions that are difficult to relate to human exposures or using exposure levels greater than those likely to be achieved with LED lighting systems in practice.

There is a low level of evidence that exposure to light in the late evening, including that from LED lighting and/or screens may have an impact on the circadian rhythm. However, it is not yet clear if this disturbance of the circadian system leads to adverse health effects.

Since the use of LED technology is still evolving, the Committee considers that it is important to closely monitor the risk of adverse health effects from long term LED use to the general population.

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