LightAware receives personal accounts from around the world telling us that people are experiencing pain and ill health when exposed to new forms of lighting.
Some people with pre-existing health issues find their conditions exacerbated: including migraine and light-sensitive skin conditions.
Others with no previous health issues also experience problems under new forms of lighting. Some experience severe symptoms, including searing eye pain, debilitating headaches, skin burning and rashes, dizziness, fainting and vomiting.
For others, the symptoms are milder: anxiety, eczema, edginess or just a sensation of discomfort or ‘wrongness’ that is hard to locate. Senior medics are expressing deep concern about the affect of new lighting on human eyes, skin, circadian rhythm and nervous system.
But there are many questions still unanswered.
- How does artificial lighting affect human health and wellbeing?
- How many people are adversely affected by new forms of lighting?
- How does one type of light bulb cause different problems in different people?
- Why are some people affected by some forms of light and not others?
LightAware believes these questions, and many more, urgently need addressing. We seek to stimulate research and investigation into the affect of artificial lighting on human health, and to compile the information currently available.
LightAware is compiling a selection of published medical papers on how artificial light affects human health and wellbeing.
|May 11, 2019 | Analysis of Compact Fluorescent Lights for Use by Patients with Photosensitive Conditions | US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is hazardous to patients with photosensitive skin disorders, such as lupus erythematosus, xeroderma pigmentosum and skin cancer. As such, these patients are advised to minimize their exposure to UVR. Classically, this is accomplished through careful avoidance of sun exposure and artificial tanning booths. Read More >|
|January 1, 2019 | Colour in the treatment of visual stress | Essex University - Professor Wilkins The use of colour to treat visual discomfort and perceptual distortions (visual stress) has been the subject of recent controversy. Read More >|
|December 5, 2018 | Outdoor Artificial Nighttime Light and Use of Hypnotic Medications in Older Adults: A Population-Based Cohort Study | Journal of Sleep Medicine The inappropriate or excessive use of outdoor artificial nighttime light, referred to as light pollution, has emerged as a novel environmental issue linked to human health. Read More >|
|October 11, 2018 | Color-selective photophobia in ictal vs interictal migraineurs and in healthy controls | US National Library of Medicine Aversion to light is common among migraineurs undergoing acute attacks. Using psychophysical assessments in patients with episodic migraine, we reported that white, blue, amber, and red lights exacerbate migraine headache in a significantly larger percentage of patients and to a greater extent compared with green light. Read More >|
|April 23, 2018 | Evaluating the Association between Artificial Light-at-Night Exposure and Breast and Prostate Cancer Risk in Spain (MCC-Spain Study) | Environmental Health Perspectives In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that shift work that involves circadian disruption is “probably carcinogenic to humans” Read More >|
|August 17, 2017 | Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women | Harvard University Boston, MA – Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The link was stronger among women who worked night shifts. Read More >|
|February 1, 2016 | Light pollution: the possible consequences of excessive illumination on retina. | Eye, Nature Publishing Group Light pollution may have a strong impact on people’s health Read More >|
|February 2, 2015 | Blue Light has a Dark Side | Harvard Health Publications Exposure to blue light at night, emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs, harmful to your health. Read More >|
|March 1, 2014 | Hidden Blue Hazard? LED Lighting and Retinal Damage in Rats | Environmental Health Perspectives The Canadian government greeted 2014 with the first tier of its new energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs,1 which will effectively ban incandescent light bulbs by next year.2 But efficient lighting can have its own drawbacks. For instance, although devoid of the mercury used in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), some white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emit a wavelength of light associated with adverse human health effects. In this issue of EHP, researchers study retinal changes in rats exposed to white LEDs like those sometimes used in household lighting.3 Read More >|
|October 11, 2013 | Energy-saving lamps and their impact on photosensitive and normal individuals | US National Library of Medicine A preliminary investigation showed that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emissions from compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can pose a risk to the skin of photosensitive individuals. Read More >|
|January 2, 2013 | Photosensitivity in cutaneous lupus erythematosus | Wiley Online Library Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a well‐known exacerbating factor for cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), with photosensitivity comprising one of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) diagnostic criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, discerning true photosensitivity in this population is difficult due to the broad language utilized by the ACR and the delayed‐onset nature of photosensitive lupus lesions. Read More >|
|August 24, 2012 | Climate Change | American Journal of Public Health Climate Change, Fluorescent Lighting, and Eye Disease: A Little Too Light on the Science Read More >|
|June 13, 2012 | The Effects of UV Emission from CFL Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in Vitro. | The American Society of Photobiology Taken together, our results confirm that UV radiation emanating from CFL bulbs (randomly selected from different suppliers) as a result of defects or damage in the phosphorus coating is potentially harmful to human skin. Read More >|
|January 24, 2012 | Flicker can be perceived during saccades at frequencies in excess of 1kHz | University of Essex When driving at night behind a car with LED tail lights it is possible to experience a trail of lights with each rapid movement of the eyes (saccade). Read More >|
|December 1, 2011 | Eye Disease Resulting From Increased Use of Fluorescent Lighting as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy | American Journal of Public Health We advocate for the use of incandescent and warm-white lamps instead of cool-white fluorescent lamps, as well as for further research into improving lighting from such sources. Read More >|
|November 24, 2011 | The Lightest Touch | NHS Quarterly Raising Awareness on Protecting Patients with Light Sensitivity Read More >|
|October 24, 2011 | Migraine and Light Sensitivity | Migraine Action Report Flickering light can trigger a migraine attack for some individuals Read More >|
|May 11, 2011 | The risk to normal and photosensitive individuals from exposure to lightfrom compact fluorescent lamps | Photobiology Unit, Department of Dermatology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK Light is a basic requirement for life on earth. The sun sustains life and is still the major source of lighting for humankind. It is an atomic furnace that turns mass into energy. Each second, four million tons of mass is discharged into space as energy, although, the earth receives only about two billionths of this. Read More >|
|July 24, 2010 | LED Lighting Flicker and Potential Health Concerns: IEEE Standard PAR1789 Update | 2010 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition The paper represents on-going work in IEEE PAR1789 that is vital to designing safe LED lamp drivers. Read More >|
|April 11, 1981 | Mechanism of photosensitivity in systemic lupus erythematosus patients | US National Library of Medicine Patients who have systemic lupus erythematosus have increased numbers of chromosome breaks and rearrangements correlated with a low molecular weight chromosome-damaging agent that is released from their lymphocytes into the serum. Read More >|