Symposium Focuses on Blue Light and Its Effect on Human Health

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NEW YORK—Blue light and its impact on the human body was the focus of a symposium held here last month. The two-day event, organized by the International Blue Light Society and sponsored by Jins, the Japanese optical retailer and eyeglass manufacturer, featured presentations by ophthalmologists, sleep specialists and researchers from universities in Japan, France and the U.S.

In his opening remarks, the symposium’s chairman, Kazuo Tsubota, president of the International Blue Light Society and a professor of ophthalmology at Keio University School of Medicine, Japan, said the advent of efficient LED lighting, electronic devices, and an increase in late-night working hours is causing humans to be exposed to more artificial light than they have ever been before.

Consequently, there is an increasing need to discuss and address issues surrounding the effects of artificial lights, particularly LEDs, on the human body, according to Professor Tsubota.The other speakers discussed a wide range of topics, including the adverse health effects of nighttime lighting; sleep disorders; the effects of light on circadian regulation of melatonin and its consequences for human cancer signaling, metabolism and growth progression; retinal photo-damage; dry eye; and computer usage, eye strain and eye protection.

“Our objective in sponsoring the event was to raise awareness of the blue light problem we are facing in society today,” said Lilian Wouters, manager of public relations and corporate communications for Jins Eyewear U.S. “The issues of blue light are already prevalent in Japan, and we also want to raise the awareness in the U.S. Toward that end, we want to promote effective measures for blue light protection, such as wearing Jins Screen blue-light blocking glasses.”

(L to R) Richard G. Stevens, PhD, Univ. of Connecticut Health Center; Kazuo Tsubota, MD, chair, New York Blue Light Symposium, president, International Blue Light Society, professor, dept. of ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan; science reporter Brandon Keim.

Professor Kazuo Tsubota discussing the effects of blue light.

(L to R) Richard G. Stevens, PhD, Univ. of Connecticut Health Center; Kazuo Tsubota, MD, chair, New York Blue Light Symposium, president, International Blue Light Society, professor, dept. of ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan; science reporter Brandon Keim. Professor Kazuo Tsubota discussing the effects of blue light.