Researchers in Turkey have found that blue light exposure could have an impact on when a child starts puberty and their fertility
The findings, reported on the MailOnline website, revealed that blue light exposure increased the level of reproductive hormones in rats that were regularly exposed to it and caused them to begin puberty earlier and suffer changes to their ovaries that could damage their future fertility.
Scientists fear that overexposure to mobile phones and tablets could be the reason for many children reportedly starting puberty during the COVID pandemic much earlier than anticipated, and the damage could be more harmful than previously thought.
Dr Aylin Kilinc Ugurlu said in a statement: “We have found that blue light exposure, sufficient to alter melatonin levels, is also able to alter reproductive hormone levels and cause early onset puberty in our rat model. In addition, the longer the exposure, the earlier the onset.”
Researchers presented their findings at the 60th Annual European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting held in September 2022.
As well as the early onset of puberty, researchers found that there were physical changes to the rats’ ovarian tissue after long exposure to blue light.
Dr Ugurlu said: “As this is a rat study we cannot be sure that it would be replicated in children but this data suggests that blue light exposure could be considered as a risk factor for early onset puberty.”
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