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The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) have produced a statement on the safety of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The statement assesses evidence of health effects from a range of LEDs and discusses a range of factors that could influence the potential hazard. These include viewing distance and duration, brightness, glare and specific properties of their emission such as infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), and blue-rich light content and correlated colour temperature (CCT). The statement indicates that LED lighting installed in accordance with good lighting principles should pose no more risk of eye damage than traditional lighting sources. While the long-term effects of LEDs, particularly blue-rich types, are not fully known, there is some evidence that children and the elderly are more sensitive and no health risk is expected under reasonable viewing conditions. While there is also some community concern of the potential hazard of exposure to bright LEDs from computer and/or mobile phone displays, as long as these screens remain comfortable to view, they should not be considered harmful or sleep disruptive when viewed during the day. The statement indicates that the only strong evidence for hazard is from temporal light effects (e.g. flicker) which can induce distraction and generally arise from inappropriately installed lighting systems.

Published In:

Health Physics, April 2020

Commentary by ARPANSA:

Due to advantages over traditional florescent and incandescent lighting, LED lighting will likely become standard for all artificial lighting in the near future. The long-term effects of LED lighting on the retina remains unclear, however, no adverse effects are expected if appropriate LED lighting is installed in accordance with good lighting principles. Further research is needed to understand if young children or the elderly are more at risk from bright LED lights. Both the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER, 2018) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES, 2019) have previously reviewed the evidence of the effects of LEDs on human health and have reached similar conclusions based on the current body of evidence. ARPANSA‘s review of both of these reports is available on our website

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