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Arthur Krigel, Lamouri Bessalah, Emilie Picard, Marianne Berdugo, Laurent Jonet, Francine F Behar-Cohen, Charlotte Andrieu-Soler; Evaluation of LED lighting ocular toxicity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):6313.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
European directive EuP 2005/32 , scheduled withdrawal from the market of incandescent lamps and promote the "low consumption lamps" such as, white high power Light-emitting diode (LEDs). White LEDs are based on a blue light system (430 nm). The potential danger of blue light on retina starts to be well known. Only fundamental work will give a scientific basis, essential to the development of safety standards well adapted to the new LED lighting systems. Without appropriate standards, the population may risk to be exposed to an insidious optical radiation dangerous for the retina, with the risk in a few years, of an increase in retinal degeneration incidence. It is known that pigmented rats need twice more constant white light exposure to reach the same level of degeneration than albinos rats. However some other studies also proved that when pigmented and albinos rats were exposed to monochromatic irradiations at 470 nm (blue ligth), pigmented rat retinas degeneration was comparable with the one of albinos retina . We decided to study the effect and potential toxicity of LEDs in 2 different animal populations : albinos and pigmented rats.
A first experience of acute exposure to LED was carried out on 10 weeks Wistar and Long evans rats. The two populations were exposed to 6000lux LEDs for 24 hours following dark adaptation. Illuminated rats were then sacrificed at 7 days. ERGs were performed 1 day before and 6 days after illumination. After sacrifice, histological study of the retina and immunostaining were carried out to study the effect of illumination on different retinal types of cell (rods, cones, bipolar cells, ganglionar cells, ... ), on the activation of Müller cells and inflammation.
Loss of visual function, histological degeneration of photoreceptors, inflammation and GFAP activation were observed after illumination in both populations. No obvious differences could be noted between pigmented and albinos animals.
A high exposure to LEDs can have a negative effect on retinal structure and function of a normal pigmented population.
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