When a closed-minded mayor refuses to listen and refuses to read, what is a concerned citizen to do?
For the past two years, Village of Great Neck (VGN) resident Amy Glass, PhD, and I have recognized there were serious health implications for our community if our current mayor signed on the dotted line for LED streetlamps. Mayor Bral held the belief that if the mayors of Great Neck Plaza and Saddle Rock approved and completed their own lighting project, surely it must be safe for the VGN.
Following a trend without following the facts exposes liability to our village and long-term risks to our residents.
There is overwhelming evidence from respected researchers at Harvard Medical School and the UNITED scientific and research community. It is accepted as fact that blue light at night is dangerous to human health. LED streetlamps are a fixed source of blue light for many hours at a time, thus they present a serious risk. Nocturnal birds and wildlife are already known to be negatively impacted. Plant life and our food chain may be impacted as well. Lighting manufacturer GE issued a white paper on the hazards of blue light at night.
How can our Great Neck leaders continue to stick their heads in the sand?
CBS agreed that the trend toward LED streetlamps was a newsworthy story. Even if VGN Mayor Pedram Bral didn’t agree—CBS2’s Carolyn Gussoff and Jennifer McLogan did.
Truth be told, I had hoped the air time would be more generous in opposition of the LEDs. I had hoped the two Long Island physicians who study the dangers of blue lights (and were interviewed for this segment) had not been reduced to a single remark.
But the reporters at CBS News, being consummate professionals, were obligated to produce a balanced news story and so they did. A random couple strolling Middle Neck Road was approached and spoke in favor of the new streetlamps in Great Neck Plaza.
But the Great Neck couple who spoke in favor of the new LED streetlamps hadn’t personally examined the health risks and drawbacks for more than two years. They never invested hundreds of hours examining complex science and research articles.
Our own Amy Glass has done those things. And she wants you to know—there are safer, less toxic and more natural-looking, cutting-edge LED products in various stages of development. OLEDS and QLEDS are coming. The responsible decision is to wait for them. Please, let’s not jump off the Brooklyn Bridge just because our fellow GN leaders didn’t take time to research the facts.
The promise of cost savings are capable of producing impulsiveness and seriously bad decisions in otherwise intelligent men and women. Let’s not be deceived by deep discounts offered by lighting manufacturers in order for them not to be stuck with warehouses full of product they can’t get rid of. Lighting manufacturers are keenly aware that new and improved LED products are coming.
Come on, Mayor Bral, we’re counting on you to get it right. We’re not suggesting our village remain in the dark ages—we are suggesting that your legacy to our community should matter to you. Beyond that, every resident’s health is precious. Please respect it, please protect it and please wait for a better, safer, more reliable and more natural-looking, cutting-edge LED product. And, yes, there will be cost savings.
By waiting a bit longer, you will also be protecting our village’s investment.
—Judy Shore Rosenthal