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UL Introduces Product Sustainability
Online database provides credibility for green product data
Are LEDs Harmful?
High-intensity streetlights may negatively impact human health,
the AMA says
With the goal of facilitating the selec- tion of credible green products, UL has developed and released its own
web-based sustainable product information tool,
SPOT. UL hopes that the database will encourage
users to apply this information into the Building
Information Modeling (BIM) workflow.
Featuring 40,000 products, SPOT provides
users with the ability to find products by sustain-
able attributes, MasterFormat product codes and building rating system credits like LEED
and the WELL Building Standard.
“SPOT seeks to be the solution for two major challenges facing the building indus-
try – the time required to find necessary product data in multiple locations, and help
ensure that the information they find is accurate and can be trusted,” says Carlos Correia,
President of UL Supply Chain & Sustainability. “We developed a comprehensive search tool
that combines multiple product attributes to streamline the selection process.”
UL is also developing an add-in that enables AutoDesk Revit users to access data from
SPOT and assign it directly to their projects. As a result, green building reporting and
building certification can become more accurate.
Rather than merely providing product data, SPOT will also include safety information
like fire ratings. For furniture, it will contain performance certifications and claim verifications. UL will maintain oversight to ensure credibility and reliability.
SPOT is intended to build upon the company’s existing sustainable initiatives. To learn
more about the tool, visit www.ul.com/spot.
High-intensity LED streetlights like those commonly found on U.S. roadways may emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and decrease visual acuity and safety, according to a recent statement by the American Medical Association.
The organization also cautioned that LEDs can create road hazards by impairing nighttime driving vision. The report may prompt users to reevaluate the intensity of LED lights
they install. Making the switch from conventional street lights to LED lighting can be more
cost-effective, but if human health is affected, it may be time to change the bulbs. To combat
“poorly designed, high-intensity LED lighting,” the AMA encourages minimizing the use of
blue-rich lighting and choosing products with optimal design and engineering features.
But not everyone is on board with the AMA’s sentiments. The Lighting Resource Center
(LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute responded, saying that the light exposure metrics
in the report were misused and over-simplified and that conclusions that LEDs cause circadian disruption, melatonin suppression and decreased vision are all unfounded.
“It is appropriate for the AMA to question advances in LED technology as they might
negatively affect human health. Raising awareness is not enough, however,” says the LRC.
“Professional responsibility must include rational and balanced discourse, whereby scientific
and technical understanding lends insight into the social benefits as well as the social costs
of In-Ga-N technology.” B
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