Blue Light Hazard
The benefits of using sun screen to protect skin from the harmful effects of the sun are well known. The addition of the mineral zinc oxide to cosmetics is a simple and safe measure to provide that protection and reduce the premature ageing of skin caused by UVA and UVB rays. But recent research by the European Commission and Harvard University has revealed potential damage caused by Blue Light.
Apart from the sun the major source of blue light for most people is artificial lighting, including the new low energy light bulbs we all have in our home and the LEDs found in computer screens, flat screen TVs and iPads. Here in the UK studies have shown that 60% of people spend more than 6 hours in front of digital devices.
Blue light does have some important benefits, it helps regulate the circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles, it boosts alertness and helps memory and cognitive function. Indeed blue light is used to treat many psychological and physical conditions including some forms of cancer. The biggest concern over blue light is its effect on the eye’s retina; The Harvard survey has linked exposure with an increased danger of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It also links blue light with some forms of cancer.
Research into the effects of blue light by the European Union and others is on-going but until the dangers are fully understood it is only sensible to take precautions such as limiting time in front of LED screens, having your eyes regularly checked and perhaps protecting your skin with cosmetics that contain an SPF25 sun screen.