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Friday, April 15, 2011

LED Lights, Toxic Too

UPDATE: 21 April - NEW REPORT:  CFL Bulbs Carcinogenic 
HEALTH fears were raised last night over the use of energy saving lightbulbs after a report claimed they contain cancer causing chemicals.
Scientists warn that prolonged contact with the European Union-imposed bulbs could put people at risk after discovering that they “pulse out” poisonous materials when switched on.
The bulbs are already widely used in Britain after the EU ordered all traditional incandescent lightbulbs to be phased out by the end of this year.
While it was known that harmful amounts of mercury are released if one of the new “green” bulbs breaks, experts have now discovered they also emit several carcinogenic chemicals.
These include phenol – a poison used by the Nazis to kill concentration camp victims – and the toxins naphthalene and styrene, which are released as a form of steam when the bulb is switched on.
The German scientists behind the report advise that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, especially near a person’s head.   Read more:
I always appreciate it when a Natural Health News reader takes their time to send along some valuable information.  Reviewing this report I have to encourage everyone to again, consider the toxins in CFL bulbs, but also be very aware of the facts surrounding LED lights too.
While tungsten can be toxic from regular light bulbs, they seem to be far safer than the more recent products.
And we do know that the CFL and LED so far are not saving substantial energy.
Thanks to Dr. Peter Thornes for compiling the data.

LEDs and their lead, arsenic and other toxic content
LED bulbs contain lead, nickel, arsenic, and a dozen more potentially hazardous substances

The problems of forcing new unproven technology on the people (after all, the safe old regular light bulbs have been declared "obsolescent"), is unsurprisingly shown also with those other complex lights, the LEDs (light emitting diodes).

From a February 2011 Reuters report, a study from the University of California (UC) Irvine shows that LED bulbs contain lead, nickel, arsenic, and a dozen more potentially hazardous substances - and highlights the dangers thereof [my emphases]:

Many of the contaminants found in the LED bulbs have been showed to adversely affect human health. Toxins like lead and arsenic are linked to various cancers, brain damage, hypertension, skin rashes, and other illnesses. The copper in LED bulbs, once released, can affect rivers, lakes, and infect fish.
If a bulb were to break, and somebody breathed in the fumes released, it would not automatically trigger cancer. However, it could act as a tipping point on top of exposures to other carcinogens. Plus, because lead tastes sweet, it is possible that children may mistake small ornamental LED lights as candy.
Under today's law, LEDs are disposed of in typical landfills and are not classified as toxic, but the researchers are hoping that their study will change that. They believe that consumers should be aware of the potential harm from LED contaminants. Measures that could be put in place may be to wear personal safety protection when cleaning up a broken LED bulb, whether at home, or with a cleanup crew at a traffic accident.
The problem, they say, is that there was insufficient product testing before LED bulbs came onto the market. There was a law that was supposed to take effect on January 1 that would have mandated such testing, but it was opposed and blocked by industry groups, and has been put on hold. 
Top selections from Natural Health News (30+) on lighting

Apr 04, 2011
Over the past two years on this blog (Natural Health News) we have posted about a dozen articles regarding the risks of CFL light bulbs to your health. Many other warnings were sent in our newsletter, taught in our classes, . 
Jan 17, 2009
CFL bulbs emit UV light and are used for this purpose in commercial hydroponic food growers. UPDATE: 25 April, 2009. Natural Health News has been covering the CFL light bulb issue for at least three years. We have 10 articles posted ...
Jan 05, 2008
For several years now we have been warning against the use of CFL low energy fluorescent light bulbsbased on their mercury content and the EMF emitted from the transformer (like the ballast in fluorescent tube lighting) as a health ...
Mar 22, 2008
For many years I tried to explain to people that there was a hazardous risk to using CFL light bulbs, now being promoted by all those greenies that jumped on the bandwagon without doing all the necessary research. ...


Anonymous said...

Does the LED issue affects the LED TVs that are all the rage currently?

Unknown said...

I'd refer you to Dr. Thornes web site for more information.

LED Lighting said...

Very informative subject, I really love it......thanks

Dinis said...

There are new lighting technologies that you can get right now that aren’t toxic. Vu1 blub is one of them, and as CFL died out because CFL have mercury newer technology will come in and take their place.

Anonymous said...

LEDs have been around for the past 50 years and not one peep of about the "Toxic effects" LEDs have no fragile bulb do not leak anything.
LEDs are encased in a SOLID Plastic housing called the lens. It'll take a hammer to break open the "Bulb".

Ben said...

I smell BS :p

led icicle lights said...

All I can say that using led lights is very useful because it help us to conserve energy.

led string lights said...

Well what the manufacture of LED says about that issue?? hmm I hope there's a way to make an energy efficient light that no cost of cancer, Thanks for sharing this information it helps a lot of people to avoid it.

Unknown said...

We believe in informed consent. The choice to use LED is yours but you should know all the facts.