LED Lights Can Damage Your Eyes: Should You Be Worried About Blue Light?
New Delhi: You may have heard that excessive exposure to the 'blue light' in LED lighting is not good for your health. Now, France's government-run health watchdog warned in a statement that light-emitting diode (LED) light that is increasingly used in our homes can damage the eye's retina and disturb natural sleep rhythms. In a 400-page report, the French health authority recommended that the maximum limit for acute exposure be revised - even if most people would only rarely be able to meet such levels. According to the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), new findings confirmed earlier concerns that 'exposure to an intense and powerful LED light is 'photo-toxic' and can lead to irreversible loss of retinal cells and diminished sharpness of vision'. Earlier, the American Optometric Association has explicitly stated that the blue light damage to the retina is a cause of concern. Effects of blue light: What you need to know LED lights are becoming popular day by day across the world as they are less expensive and more energy efficient compared to traditional lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lights. LEDs are used for domestic purposes as well as industrial and commercial ones. The largest source of blue light is sunlight, and other sources include - fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light bulbs, LED light, flat screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smartphones, and tablet screens. This means you are exposed to blue light from your device - when you look at a screen for hours. The amount of blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) light these digital screens emit is just a fraction compared to the amount emitted by the sun. But, the amount of time people spend looking at the screens and the close proximity of the devices to the user's eyes is a cause of growing concern for health experts. And the ANSES reports also noted that children and adolescents, whose eyes do not fully filter blue light, are particularly susceptible to the harms of cold blue light. Earlier, a study suggested that children's eyes absorb more blue light than adults from digital device screens. Research has shown that blue light can interfere with the body's circadian rhythm - our natural wake and sleep cycle. According to Dina Attia, a researcher and project manager at ANSES, interfering with the body's circadian rhythm is also known to aggravate metabolic disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. Eventually, ANSES recommended buying 'warm white' LED lighting for domestic lighting. It suggested that people limit their exposure to LED sources with a high concentration of blue light, and avoid LED screens before bedtime. The agency also recommended that manufacturers should limit the luminous intensity of vehicle headlights.1. 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