In a new update to its 2010 appraisal of the health effects of LED lighting, ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) warns blue light from LED lighting can damage the retina.
Exposure to powerful LED lights are phototoxic and may cause irreversible damage to the retina, as well as worsening vision. Chronic exposure to these phototoxic lights may lead to vision loss or age-related macular degeneration. The agency now wants to update the maximum acute exposure level for home and work environments (color temperature <3,000 K).
Children especially are susceptible to blue light disruptions, which may disturb sleep patterns, because their crystalline lenses are not yet fully formed. Once sleep patterns are disrupted, the circadian rhythm may affect metabolic disorders and cause increased risk of cancer.
The agency also found that blue light-blocking glasses, lenses, and screens are not effective enough at reducing blue light exposure, especially for those exposed to high-intensity LED sources for prolonged periods of time. The agency advises buying “warm” LED lighting to reduce exposure to high concentrations of blue light.
More long-term studies are needed on the ocular effects of artificial lighting.
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