The impact of blue light on the health of children has pediatrician and California State Senator Richard Pan, MD, seeing red. That’s why he led the charge to pass a resolution that outlines research related to the long-term consequences of extended blue light exposure. It also urges consumers to consider taking protective safety measures in reducing exposure to the high-energy blue light seen in common devices such as computer monitors, phones and tablets.
The resolution, SCR 73, or the Blue Light Awareness Resolution, was passed unanimously. Additionally, the state will officially recognize October 10 as World Sight Day.1 The precise research the state intends to highlight is not yet clear, but a website about the resolution provides links to a 2011 study, “Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments,” published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics. It also refers to a 2015 article from the Journal of Adolescent Health titled “Blue blocker glasses as a countermeasure for alerting effects of evening light-emitting diode screen exposure in male teenagers.”2 The researchers speculate a number of potential deleterious health effects of blue light overexposure, including sleep disruption, associations with macular degeneration, dry eye and headaches.
There are 80 million electronic devices with digital screens in California alone and many residents use them more than nine hours per day, according to the resolution. The legislation was supported by Eyesafe, a Minneapolis-based company that sells blue light-blocking screen protectors. In addition to working with California legislatures, the company also partnered with Salus University in creating a research project to study the impacts of blue light exposure and publishing the newly announced How to Save Your Eyes in the Digital Age: Eye Care Handbook for the Consumer Electronics.3
1. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 73 Relative to Blue Light Awareness Day. leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SCR73. September 19, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
2. Eyesafe. California blue light resolution scr-73. eyesafe.com/scr73. October 10, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.
3. Eyesafe. Salus University partners with eyesafe on blue light and screen time program. eyesafe.com/salus-university-partners-with-eyesafe-on-blue-light-and-screen-time-program. October 10, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2019.