Blue light, responsible for precocious puberty and fertility problems?

The longer the blue light exposure time, the earlier the puberty

Exposure to blue light from cellphones may increase the risk of precocious puberty in adolescence and impair fertility in adulthood, a study has found.

Before the age of three, children must avoid screens. If this is not always easy to achieve in practice, the results of a study presented at the 60th congress of the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology suggest that it should be adhered to. Exposure to blue light when young could indeed increase the risk of precocious puberty and increase fertility problems afterwards.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers studied the effects of blue light on 18-21 day old rats. The mammals were divided into three groups: the first was not exposed to blue light, the second was exposed to it for 6 hours and the third for 12 hours.

Biological changes

The first signs of puberty appeared early in the mammals of the second group, and even earlier in that of the third group, suggesting a link with the time of exposure to blue light. Additionally, female rats in these two groups exhibited reduced levels of melatonin, elevated levels of specific reproductive hormones, and physical changes in their ovarian tissue.

“As this is a rat study, we are not sure if these results can be transposed to children, but these data suggest that exposure to blue light could be considered a risk factor for early onset of puberty,” said Aylin Kilinç Uğurlu, an author of the study. As a precaution, she recommends all the same to “minimize the use of devices emitting blue light in prepubescent children, especially in the evening, when exposure can have the most effects on hormones”.

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