Some States could rethinkLED streetlights after AMA links them with health issues

Some States could rethinkLED streetlights after AMA links them with health issues

Concerns have been raised over the past few years about negative impacts of high-intensity LED streetlights. In June, the American Medical Association report has added credence to these concerns.

In the report, the high-intensity LED streetlights in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and San Francisco and in many other places have been linked with disturbed sleep, increased risk of health conditions, like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The report prompted cities and state to reconsider the intensity of light they install on streets. Some cities have suggested that health concerns are not convincing enough to surpass the benefits of bright LED-lights.

New York had the same response, but changed white LED bulbs with a lower-intensity bulb being considered safe by the AMA after the complaints of residents. Lake Worth, Florida is also replacing its sodium streetlights with LED lights having an amber glow.

Mark Hartman, Phoenix's chief sustainability officer, said that there could be a mix of the intense lights for major intersections and ballpark areas that require bright lights and softer lights for residential areas.

Even the federal government has encouraged the use of LEDs and called them highly efficient to be used for traffic lights and exit signs. Now, LEDs are available that have lower Kelvin rating and provide the same level of energy efficiency as the ones provided with higher ratings.

They emit a softer, amber hue rather than potentially harmful blue light. In the warning, the AMA has mentioned about studies that have linked bright LEDs with reduced sleep, poor sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning.

Tony Dorsey, a spokesman with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said that the organization's environmental committee is going through the AMA report.