Tech

LED Lights And Screens May Cause Blindness

By Enozia Vakil , May 15, 2013 08:08 AM EDT

The so-called environment-friendly LED lights may not be so friendly after all. A recent study has shown that these lights can cause potentially dangerous and irreparable damage to the retina of the eye.

LED lights have been considered a wonderful discovery, considering that they use up around 85 percent less energy than the regular lights, and have a long-lasting life of more than 10 years.

Philips, the world's largest lighting maker, reported a whopping 38 percent jump in the sales of LED lights this year. These lights are being used in anything and everything today –– cell phones, television sets, computer screens and more.

Dr. Celia Sánchez-Ramos from Complutense University, Madrid, led this particular study and explained that the lights emitted from LED lights come from the high energy violet and blue end of the visible light spectrum. Long term exposure to this light is enough to permanently damage the retina of the human eye. The retina, the light sensitive tissue that helps detect light and allows us to see, can be severely affected by prolonged exposure to the light emitted from these LED lights.

"This problem is going to get worse, because humans are living longer and children are using electronic devices from a young age, particularly for schoolwork," Sánchez-Ramos told ThinkSpain.com. 

'Eyes are not designed to look directly at light - they are designed to see with light,' Sánchez-Ramos said.

The modern human has his eyes open for more than 6,000 hours a year, and during a considerable chunk of that time, his eyes are exposed to artificial light.

And it's not just the LED lights that are facing the criticism; compact fluorescent light bulbs, also known as CFLs have faced a good controversy regarding the safeness of their use. These CFLs, which probably light up a majority of homes worldwide, are thought to contain huge levels of mercury and emit UV radiations.

Steps need to be undertaken to cut down the exposure to these seemingly effective and energy saving lights before they can cause irreversible effects on the human body.

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