I like Energy Efficiency but I Don’t Want it to Give Me Cancer, Insomnia, Mental Illness, Obesity, or Hurt the Environment. CFL and LED Light Bulbs, Not So Eco-Friendly After All.

By B.N. Frank

Sad but true – the CFL and LED “Energy Efficient” light bulbs we’ve all been told were good for the planet aren’t good for it at all.  Additionally, they can also make people and animals very sick. Extensive research has already proven this.

Regardless, many utility companies have been giving customers free CFL and LED light bulbs for many years anyway.  Many cities are replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED ones for street lights to save money.  There have been many reported problems:

From Gateshead, England:  “The town facing a ‘humanitarian crisis’ caused by the radiation from state-of-the-art street lamps: Residents have endured insomnia, nose bleeds and even stillbirths, scientist claims.”

Excerpt:  “Mr Steele, who was part of the IEEE, which claims to be ‘the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity’, said: ‘We are seeing babies dying in the womb as these transmitters are situated outside people’s bedroom windows. It’s a humanitarian crisis.”

Residents will not back down about this.  They want the light bulbs to be replaced.

Public Health England (PHE) is also speaking out against these bulbs:  “New LED streetlights could damage eyesight and disrupt sleep, warns Public Health England

In the U.S, there is also debate regarding biological and environmental impacts of LED light bulbs in street lamps.  A 2016 Washington Post article discusses concerns raised by residents in many American cities – some who went with LED street lights and some who didn’t.

On June 14, 2016 The American Medical Association released a statement about the harmful biological and environmental impact of high-intensity LED street lights.

Excerpts include:

  • Despite the energy efficiency benefits, some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting,” AMA Board Member Maya A. Babu, M.D., M.B.A.
  • Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity.
  • The detrimental effects of high-intensity LED lighting are not limited to humans.

Another sad reality – LED street lights may lead to more car accidents:

  • Discomfort and disability from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns and creating a road hazard.

Other similar stories from the U.S. include:

  1. CBS New York: Study Finds Link Between Lighting And Breast Cancer
  2. Vermont bill may target one type of fluorescent lamp for ban
  3. In Chicago, there have been complaints and concerns about LED street lights
  4. In Raphael, CA, “glaring street lamps darken residents’ moods.”
  5. Recently in Philadelphia, residents’ concerns were completely dismissed.

Even before the AMA warnings, in 2011 scientists raised concerns about these types of light bulbs.

In February 2018, research was published by the National Institutes of Health: “The potential influence of LED lighting on mental illness.”

Blue light exposure may suppress melatonin, increase alertness, and interfere with sleep in young, healthy volunteers and in animals. Areas of concern in mental illness include the influence of blue light on sleep, other circadian-mediated symptoms, prescribed treatments that target the circadian system, measurement using digital apps and devices, and adolescent sensitivity to blue light.

Good luck, parents.

In Australia, they are also concerned about all sources of artificial light worsening pre-existing mental health conditions.  From the article:

  1. There is growing evidence that shows exposure to artificial light at night — such as from phones, tablet devices and computers — delays the body clock and leads to poor sleep.
  2. Turn off LED lights and put down your phone at night.
  3. While experts have been pointing to the negative effects of evening screen time on sleep, Dr Cain says another offender is LED lights, which are now found in most homes.
  4. The blue light they emit tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime, making you alert and reducing your levels of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
  5. “I don’t use LED lights in my home. I use incandescent light, and that helps you maintain better sleep and not disturb your rhythms because you’re highly sensitive to light at night,” Dr Cain said.

According to some scientists, “The Race for 5G” is the Next Big Thing in Light Pollution   Jan. 18th, 2018 | Yuen Yiu | Inside Science  

Although the human eye can’t see them, the waves are an important part of the electromagnetic spectrum that radio astronomers use to study the universe.  Now wireless communications companies are poised to fill this part of the spectrum with more human-generated noise. The actual number one [threat to radio astronomy] these days is the advent of 5G.

From Science News: “Light pollution can prolong the risk of sparrows passing along West Nile virus”

Under nighttime lighting, birds take longer to fight off virus attackEven moderate light pollution can roughly double the time a house sparrow remains a risk for passing along the worrisome West Nile virus.

In Hong Kong, “Glowing pains: the hidden environmental cost of LED lights”

So far, I’ve primarily focused on LED light bulbs.  As promised, extensive research has also determined that CFL light bulbs have been determined to be extremely problematic as well.  Read it and weep.

Energy Efficiency is great unless it causes Electrical Pollution otherwise known as Electrosmog.  Don’t get me started on Electrosmog

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