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Blue light at night increases cancer risk

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  • Author: Carina Rehberg
  • published: 01.05.2018
Blue light at night increases cancer risk

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Cancer does not just happen like that. There are many factors that reduce or even increase our personal cancer risk. We can influence many of these factors ourselves. For example, how we feed ourselves or whether we smoke. Also, everyone can decide for themselves whether they want to stare into the night on a tablet, smartphone, laptop or other screen. The blue light spectrum of the screens ensures that the risk of breast and prostate cancer increases. The same applies to LED lamps, which naturally have high levels of blue light.

Light from screens and LED lamps increases the risk of cancer

An international research team led by Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), reported on April 23 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives an association between the nocturnal use of light sources that have high levels of blue light and an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer.

Blue light is emitted especially by LED lamps – which are now also used in the cities as night lighting – and screens. Earlier studies had already shown that it is extremely harmful to use light sources with blue light at night or to sleep under the influence of these light sources.


Blue lights harmful to the eyes

Especially for the eyes, screens with a high proportion of blue light are agony. The blue light passes through the cornea unhindered and triggers inflammatory processes in the macula of the eye – the place of sharp vision. It also promotes the death of the visual cells in the eye and damages the retina cells so strongly that it accelerates their aging process.

All mechanisms of action together increase that Risk of macular degeneration – An eye disease, which is accompanied by severe impairments of vision and can blind in an unfavorable case.

Declining melatonin levels, sleep disorders and depression

It has also long been known that the nocturnal use of screens (eg when reading e-books, working on the screen, surfing the net, correspondence via smartphone, etc.) lowers the melatonin level. Melatonin is a hormone that makes you tired in the evening and ensures a relaxed sleep. If the melatonin level drops, it leads to sleep disturbances at night and to fatigue, impaired performance and mood lows during the day.

The latter, because of the serotonin levels the higher the melatonin production at night, the higher it can go during the day. Serotonin is the messenger that u. a. makes you happy, relaxed and satisfied. A healthy melatonin level is therefore extremely important, one wants depressions combat or prevent.

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Cancer cells are really awake in bright nights

Similarly, low levels of melatonin at night not only affect sleep but also make cancer cells alert. On the other hand, if you sleep in absolute darkness, it also seems to let cancer cells “sleep” deeply and firmly – Sun researchers in July 2014 in Cancer Research ,

For these reasons, shift work with frequent night shift of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – a WHO body – classified as potentially carcinogenic.

Manolis Kogevinas Researcher at the above isGlobal in Barcelona and head of the new study stated:

“There is evidence of a link between artificial light at night, the disrupted day-night rhythm and the development of breast and prostate cancer.”

“Especially the blue light components reduce melatonin production,” adds Martin Aubé Professor of Physics at CÉGEP in Sherbrooke, Canada and co-author of the study.

Artificial light increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer

The scientists had evaluated the data of more than 4,000 people between the ages of 20 and 85 years. The extent to which these people were exposed to artificial light was not only learned through questionnaires, but also through night pictures of the Earth’s surface shot by astronauts from the International Space Station. Because not least of all light pollution in cities leads to an enormous nocturnal light exposure of the respective inhabitants.

The results showed that people exposed to high levels of blue light at night had a 1.5 to 2-fold increased risk, breast cancer or Prostate Cancer compared to residents who could sleep in the dark at night.

Therefore, take care of an undisturbed night’s sleep in the dark, prefer to use halogen bulbs instead of LED bulbs or even candlelight and rarely use screens (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) in the hours before bedtime. For more information and tips on how the melatonin level can be raised at night and u. U. can reduce the blue light component of devices, can be found here: Naturally increase melatonin levels

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