As the State prepares to invest hundreds of millions to convert public structures, street lamps or traffic signals to Led (light-emitting diodes) lighting, a tiny but increasing number of people are raising concerns about the environmental and health effects of this move.
Led is more efficient in terms of energy use source than incandescent equivalent bulbs as well as most fluorescent lamps. Because of this, State or EU authorities have for over 10 years all but removed incandescent lamps through stricter lighting regulations efficiency.
Dublin City Council, one of the councils that have made the transition in Led lighting, announced that it will invest EUR55 million on the project.
While medical experts haven’t found any connection with Led lighting and illnesses however, a growing percentage of people believe they’re suffering from the severe health issues that are caused by Leds.
Elaine Dennehy, from Tuam, Co Galway, said she experiences severe migraine-like headaches as well as nausea that can last for a few days following being exposed to Led lighting.
The lighting that can affect her is “blue light” from screens on computers phones, computers or other electronics along with flicker and directional intensity of lamps, she claimed.
Bright lights from nearby buildings could trigger an episode that causes her to be unable to work for days. She is unable to operate in areas in which Led lights are present. explained.
In the year 2014 the lady Dennehy was forced to move from the center of Tuam to an area that was more rural because of the growing use of Led lighting. After some time, she noted that the increasing usage of Leds in traffic light systems and security lighting around structures has severely restricted her options for living.
“How can we ethically regulate the safety of a product when we cannot be sure it’s safe for all people?” she asked. “Because that’s exactly what we’re doing by phasing out other sources of light. How can those who are who are sensitive to Led supposed to live their lives.”
Ms Dennehy added she believes that “in in the absence of research about the long-term effects, should our councils not be conducting assessments on the impact of disability and impairment before making any changes to our highways?”
She also said that claims made by manufacturers of huge benefits by the use of Led were skewed.
“Something is deemed to be economically efficient based on a single measurement of watts for each lumen of light fitting, but the process is extremely complex. To evaluate this more precisely, we must look at the whole picture which includes manufacturing processes, materials transport of goods, disposal , and the environmental effect of the products.”
At the urging at the direction of Sean Canney, her local TD and long-time patron Ms Dennehy recently spoke to her Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters.
“I wanted to inform them that it wasn’t just about me or Tuam There hundreds of thousands who have approached LightAware [a UK-based group for campaigningas well as it is true that the European Parliament has recognized that certain people are at risk,” she said.
The EU Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (Scheer) released its report on possible risks to the health of humans due to light emitting diodes, in June 2018. The report concluded that further research was needed , especially for those who are vulnerable, such as those who are young and elderly.
The report concluded that the report did not find any evidence to suggest negative health consequences directly resulting caused by Leds when used in their normal usage however, the report also stated that the report would be interested in continual evaluation of their effect.
Ophthalmic surgeon consultant Louis Collum, professor of Ophthalmology in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Ireland, has said that the Led light damaging eyes is “not an indication of a disorder” . But , he added, damage is recognized as being a consequence of exposure to intense lighting.
“Exposure to the light of a large amount isn’t very effective generally and Leds are much more powerful or robust than the bulb that is in the ceiling” He said.
He also said that “there is never been any situation in which we’ve declared that Led lights should not be employed” however he said there was no doubt that some people were more sensitive to them.
“People must be extremely cautious when it comes to exposure to light since the cells in the back of the eye could be, without an appropriate word, “burn.”