The prolonged exposure to blue light coming from our phones, computers, and many other household appliances can negatively affect a person’s life expectancy. Scientists suggest that the blue waves that LEDs emit damage the cells of the brain and retina, even if there is no direct incidence of light rays. Scientists conducted a series of studies on an ordinary fruit fly, as a result of which it turned out that light waves emitted during the burning of LEDs accelerate the aging process.
Is blue light harmful?
Light is electromagnetic radiation, each color of which has its own specific amount of energy. At the beginning of the light spectrum there is red, which has low energy and is easily perceived by the human eye, closer to the top of the spectrum is blue light, which has the highest energy and is able to penetrate the retina, quickly wearying our organs of vision.
Artificial blue light, which comes from modern gadgets and devices, occupies the most “harmful” part of the spectrum, the wavelength of which is between 380 and 500 nm. Light waves of this range are the shortest of visible radiation, while scattering most actively.
Scientists have long confirmed the negative effects of blue light on humans, but still continue to conduct more detailed studies on its effects on the human body and still do not plan to dwell on the information received. So, scientists from a university in Oregon published the results of new studies in the journal Aging and mechanisms of disease.
During the experiment, researchers used an ordinary fruit fly – Drosophila melanogaster, whose body, due to its cellular mechanisms of development, is similar to other animals and people.
During the study, researchers used 3 groups of flies. The first group underwent daily 12-hour cycles: 12 hours in the light and 12 hours in the dark. The second group was always in the dark and was used as a control, and the third group was subjected to filtered blue light. According to the results of the study, it was found that the flies from the first group had a shorter life span. A study of flies that were exposed to 12 hours of blue light confirmed damage to retinal cells and even brain neurons, reducing the ability of flies to climb fences.
In the experiment, mutants of fruit flies were also used, some of which did not have developed organs of vision, but even brainless flies showed brain damage and impaired coordination. Thus, flies did not have to see the light in order for it to cause disturbances in the body. Researchers also noted an interesting fact that flies try to avoid blue light if given a choice.
Scientists note that the presence of natural light is crucial for the circadian rhythm of the body – a cycle in which a number of physiological processes occur, such as brain activity, hormone secretion, cell regeneration, etc. However, the increased exposure to artificial light, which is increasing in the modern world, is one of the risk factors for sleep failure and many other circadian disorders.
The use of LED lighting, various gadgets and devices exposes people to more and more light in the blue spectrum. But due to the fact that these technologies are quite new, it is not possible to find out about their impact on a person throughout his life.