By B.N. Frank
Numerous studies have already determined that exposure to Blue Light from LED light bulbs and other sources is biologically and environmentally harmful (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). Additionally, the use of LED and HID bulbs in headlights is creating dangerous situations on roads.
Thanks to Softlights.org for creating an online petition to request that the U.S. Department of Transportation ban their use.
BAN BLINDING HEADLIGHTS! Sign the petition and share. Over 30,000 people have already signed.
The natural night is a fundamental resource just like air and water and is necessary for the proper functioning of nearly all biological systems here on earth. Artificial light is damaging this critical resource and the invention of LED light is making us sick. The Soft Lights Foundation is the leading activist organization dedicated to restoring the natural night resource and protecting people from the harms of LED light.
There has been a historic spike in road fatalities recently. According to the National Safety Council, 2018 marked 3 straight years with 40,000+ road deaths (the first time since the Great Depression), with a total of a 14% increase in fatalities over the last 4. These are alarming statistics, representing thousands of new deaths after decades of decline at a time when cars are as technically advanced and “safe” as they have ever been.
While there are sure to be multiple factors involved this crisis, I feel one major cause is being overlooked by officials: It is clear to anyone who drives, walks or bikes the roads, the trend toward LED and HID headlights has become a source of dangerous, blinding glare.
In addition, LED daytime running lamps, as well as overly-bright LED tail-lights, brake-lights and turn signals, are a source of fatal distraction, creating what is known as inattentional blindness or the “Las Vegas Effect”, a visual field so polluted by distracting glare that the brain has a hard time keeping focused on the important subjects like pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Previous petitions on this issue have garnered thousands of signatures along with comments that these headlights have caused accidents, made elderly drivers give up driving at night, and even induced migraines.
The American Medical Association issued guidelines way back in 2016 on “blue-rich light”, the very sort of harsh, bluish-white light used by LED headlights and daytime running lamps. The AMA stated that blue-rich light causes pain and damage to the human eye and suppresses melatonin at five times the rate of other wavelengths. They have urged people to move lighting toward the more natural and warm red-end of the spectrum.
We are asking Congress, the Department of Transportation and NHTSA to take this matter seriously and properly regulate LEDs as spatially non-homogeneous, directed energy radiation.
We appeal to your personal experience. If you are tired of being blinded on the road please sign our petition!
Unfortunately, despite research and warnings (see 1, 2), over the years, American communities have been installing Blue Light emitting LED bulbs in streetlights as well and they continue to do so. Additionally, earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will also provide funding for LED lightbulbs to be installed in low-income homes and the Biden Administration took additional steps to end the production of safer bulbs!
Top image: Pixabay
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