Opposition Party Calls for Postponement of Montreal LED Streetlight Project

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Opposition party Projet Montréal in Canada is asking the city to halt its CA$ 110 million (US $86.55 million) project to replace 110,000 streetlights with LEDs lights over health risk and light pollution concerns, reported Montreal Gazette.

The party will urge the city council to consider delaying the project’s implementation this week.

Projet Montréal is asking the city to suspend the project until the local heath bureau and province standardization department complete related studies.

The city has put the mass scale streetlight upgrade on hold, as it waits for the city health board’s report, which is postponed to be released in fall instead of the scheduled spring release, said Aref Salem, the city’s executive committee member responsible for transport and the lighting project.

City officials have initiated pilot projects in selected areas. According to Salem, the health impact from the lights cited by Projet Montréal are overstated. Many Canadian cities including Ottawa, Kingston, Edmonton, and Calgary have installed LED lights successfully.

Studies recognized by the World Health Organization revealed white LED lights emit a form of blue light suppressing melatonin production, a chemical responsible for regulating the body’s biological clock, stated Projet Montréal. Interference of the circadian rhythm can cause sleep disruption, depression, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Sherbrooke, a city located in Southern Canada has chosen amber colored lights instead of white to reduce light pollution and health impacts, said Projet Montréa.

According to Salem, the city is open to changing the color and intensity of the light if it is recommended by health experts.

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