Download: Led bulb and eye health; ANSES full report

Health effects of lighting systems using light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

ANSES opinion
collective expert report
.pdf complete health study of 310 pages / 7.84 Mo

Learn more, summary of news and debate: Are LED bulbs dangerous for health or eyes?

Extract from the summary (available in the link below):

The risks identified as the most worrying, both by the gravity of the associated hazards, and by the probability of occurrence in the context of widespread use of LEDs, are related to the photochemical effects of blue light and the glare. They result:

the spectral imbalance of LEDs (high proportion of blue light in white LEDs);

very high luminances of the LEDs (high surface densities of light intensity emitted by these very small sources).

Risk associated with blue light:

The risk of photochemical effect is associated with blue light and its level depends on the cumulative dose of blue light to which the person has been exposed. It usually results from low intense exposures repeated over long periods. The level of evidence associated with this risk is important.

Populations that are particularly sensitive to risk or particularly exposed to blue light have been identified, such as children, people with certain eye diseases or even certain populations of professionals subjected to intensive lighting.

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There is currently little human exposure data for lighting, whether using LEDs or other types of light sources. The working group was thus able to present quantified risk assessments only in the case of exposure to blue light, according to the principles developed by the NF EN 62471 standard. This standard relating to the photobiological safety of lamps proposes a classification in risk groups related to the maximum permissible exposure time of the eye to light.

The luminance measurements carried out show that certain LEDs available for purchase by the general public and potentially used in domestic lighting, for signage and beaconing applications, belong to higher risk groups than those of traditional lighting.

Furthermore, it appears that the NF EN 62 471 standard is not entirely suitable for lighting using LEDs (non-adapted exposure limit values, ambiguous measurement protocols, certain sensitive populations are not taken into account). :

Risk of glare:

In interior lighting, it is accepted that a luminance greater than 10 cd / m000 2 is visually disturbing whatever the position of the luminaire in the visual field. Due in particular to the punctual nature of their emitting surface, LEDs can exhibit luminances 7 times higher. The level of direct radiation from this type of source can thus greatly exceed the level of visual discomfort, much more than with so-called “conventional” lighting (halogens, low consumption lamps).

Regarding the risks associated with glare, there are normative references in terms of visual ergonomics and safety. In LED lighting systems available on the market, LEDs are often directly visible so as not to reduce the level of illumination produced. This could lead to non-compliance with these normative requirements.

RECOMMENDATIONS

For ANSES, it is necessary to restrict the placing on the "general public" market of LED lighting systems in order to allow only LEDs that do not pose more risks related to blue light than traditional lighting. In addition, ANSES recommends adapting the NF EN 62 471 standard for the photobiological safety of lamps to the specificities of LEDs and to take into account sensitive populations and people at particular risk (certain populations of workers: lighting installers, trades the show, etc.).

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ANSES also recommends that standards for comfort and visual ergonomics be respected in workplaces and homes. In this sense, ANSES recommends reducing the luminance of LEDs, in particular by means of optical devices or adapted luminaires, to limit the risk of glare.

In order to better inform the consumer, ANSES also recommends that the informative labeling of lighting systems clearly presents information concerning the quality of the light and the level of photobiological safety according to the NF EN 62 471 standard.

More:

- Summary of information and debate: Are LED bulbs dangerous for health or eyes?
- A choice of warm white LED bulbs.

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