Basic quantitative risk assessment of light sources: Comparison of light exposure assessment and endpoint life cycle impact assessment


HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT, vol.23, no.7, pp.1683-1702, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Human Health Area of Protection (HHAoP) has been receiving greater emphasis in recent years in the scope of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of products or services with more impact categories specifically dedicated to include different dimensions of HHAoP. Human health impacts of light sources, however, have received less attention despite their prevalent use for backlighting, general lighting and architectural purposes. Currently, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) of lighting devices and electronic devices with backlit screens do not address endpoint impacts nor do they specify technical properties of the light that can enable such an assessment. This study investigates endpoint impacts of eleven lighting devices (1) due to light exposure during the use phase and (2) due to emissions throughout their life cycle. Impacts are quantified as disease burden in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALY). The burden of exposure was calculated using attributable fraction (AF) method. The burden due to life cycle emissions was quantified using GaBi software and built-in life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) method ReCiPe. Endpoint impact categories included were climate change human health, human toxicity, ionizing radiation, ozone depletion, particulate matter formation, and photochemical oxidant formation. The disease burden due to light exposure of all light sources is of two orders of magnitude greater than the disease burden due to life cycle emissions pointing to the need for its treatment.