Overview

LED illumination is a safer and more controllable alternative to high pressure mercury based lamps. Care must be taken with any illuminator to ensure there is no damage to eyes or skin. When operated according to the instructions, all CoolLED pE-Series LED illumination systems are safe. This is essential due to the high intensity LED arrays which could be harmful when due consideration to safety issues is not applied.

LEDs are classified under EN62471:2008, “Photobiological Safety of Lamps and Lamp Systems” which cover a broader range of illuminators including mercury and metal halide. Although the risk from LEDs is considerably lower than from conventional high-pressure lamps due to no undesired deep UV illumination, or Hg, the operator should ensure that he or she does not expose their eyes to the collimated light beam or from the light guides or fibers.

The main area of risk is from UV radiation which cannot be seen by the human eye but where the eye is particularly sensitive to damage. As LEDs are at specified wavelengths, it is those LEDs at wavelengths below 400nm where most care should be taken.

CoolLED LED products do not use mercury, unlike “HBO” or metal-halide lamps.

Mercury-based illuminators can be very intense in the UV and carry a risk of bulb explosion which can release mercury vapour into the room.  There is a worldwide shift away from the production and use of mercury as alternative materials become available. In the case of fluorescence excitation, LEDs now offer such an alternative.

The use and disposal of mercury is subject to legislation in many countries. Operators of mercury-based illuminators are aware of the potential hazards to personal health. More information can be found by Internet search. The following link to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry provides more information about the risks of Mercury.

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