Canada: Opposition calls for suspension of Montreal's LED streetlights project

vrijdag, 06 mei 2016 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

18 april 2016

Opposition party Projet Montréal is calling on the city to suspend its $110-million project to replace 110,000 standard streetlights with LED lighting until the health risks and potential for light pollution of the new technology is better documented.

“While LED lights chosen by the city of Montreal for its streetlights represent several advantages, including energy efficiency and longer lifespans, they also present a significant inconvenience that could harm the health of Montrealers,” Sylvain Ouellet, environment critic for Projet Montréal, said in a statement.

The party will table a motion at city council Monday or Tuesday calling for a suspension of the project’s implementation.

The party is asking the city to put its project on hold until the city’s public health bureau and the province’s standardization department can complete its studies.

Aref Salem, the city’s executive committee member responsible for transport and the lighting changeover, said the city is in fact putting off the start of the mass changeover pending the city health board’s report, which was initially slated for this spring but has been postponed until fall. The city has installed some LED lighting as pilot projects, in areas like Alexis Nihon Blvd. in the St-Laurent borough, with positive results, Salem said.

The health effects cited by Projet Montréal are overstated, said Salem, who noted that cities like Ottawa, Kingston, Edmonton, Calgary and many others have already installed LED lighting successfully.

Studies recognized by the World Health Organization show white LED lights emit a form of blue light that suppresses the production of melatonin, responsible for regulation of the body’s biological clock, Projet Montréal said. Interference with the body’s internal clock has been associated with health problems including sleep disruption, depression, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Sherbrooke opted for amber-coloured lights as opposed to white to limit light pollution and health impacts, Projet Montréal said.

Salem said the city is open to altering the colouring and intensity of the lighting if health experts suggest it.

Mede geplaatst omdat LED lampen ook voor netvervuiling zorgen.

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