A new study, published Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has suggested that the risk of breast and prostate cancer is increased by exposure to blue light emitted by outdoor LEDs, smartphones, and tablets at night.
The researchers found that high levels of outdoor blue light in dark surrounding increases the risk of developing the deadly cancers by 1.5-fold. Moreover, the study said that men, who are exposed to high levels of indoor artificial light, had 2.8-fold higher risk of developing prostate cancer, reported CNN.
The researchers looked at the data of over 4,000 adults in Spain before coming to this conclusion.
"There is evidence pointing to an association between exposure to artificial light at night, disruption of the circadian rhythm, and breast and prostate cancers. We sought to determine whether night exposure to light in cities can affect the development of these two types of cancer," said Manolis Kogevinas, from ISGlobal, according to techtimes.com.
Associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine Kristen Knutson, according to CNN, said that blue light has a shorter wavelength and higher energy than other types of visible light. And, exposure to this light, reportedly, decreases the release of melatonin in the brain.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
Professor of community medicine and health care at the University of Connecticut Richard Stevens that there are plenty of applications available for download for people who want to reduce their exposure to blue light from phones and other devices. "They change the spectrum of intensity on the screen depending on time of day, and that's great. That's where we need to go in society in general," said Stevens, as reported by the website.