Are LED lights making us ill?
By Lucy Jones
Over the last decade, much of Europe and the US have changed the way they illuminate city and town streets. They
have replaced high-energy sodium bulbs (the warmer, yellow ones) with energy-saving LED bulbs (with a blue light
emitting diode, which can feel harsh in comparison). As well as street lights, most of us are exposed to blue light
through smartphones, computers, TVs, and in the home.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry published a paper that warned of the potential effects of LED lighting on
mental illness. It raised concerns about the influence of blue light on sleep, other circadian-mediated symptoms, use of
digital healthcare apps and devices, and the higher sensitivity of teenagers to blue light. Specifically, the researchers
are concerned about the relationship between light exposure and the occurrence of manic and mixed symptoms in
bipolar disorder, having adverse effects on manic states and the sleep-wake cycle. For example, the use of smartphones
or computers by those people before bed could have a bad effect on their sleep, circadian rhythms and health.
Studies of the impact of blue light on healthy adults show it inhibits melatonin secretion which disrupts sleep and can
affect quality of life, physical and mental health and susceptibility to illness.
Previous studies of sleep disorders in children and adolescents show a clear and consistent relationship between sleep
disorders and frequency of digital device usage.
Currently, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines suggest not using technology 30 minutes before bed and removing
technology for the bedroom. However, there are currently no specific guidelines for people with an underlying mental
illness or sensitivity to circadian disruption.
As LED technology has rapidly spread across the globe, the focus has been on the visual element and the energysaving element. Now, scientists, health professionals and the LED industry are working to minimise the blue light in
LEDs and create customisable lights that won’t harm those suffering from psychiatric disorders.
Disponível em https://www.bbcearth.com/blog/?article=are-led-lights-making-us-ill Acessado em 22/10/2018
A rápida substituição de lâmpadas comuns por lâmpadas de LED em todos os setores e locais tiveram duas razões
principais: a visual e a economia de energia. Porém, importantes estudos estão investigando se há consequências
deste uso para a saúde. Assim, de acordo com o texto, é possível dizer que: