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    Eyecare providers criticized for blue light claims


    Last year, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints about the marketing of such filters by Boots.

    The ASA cited a national press ad, seen on 24 January 2015, that stated “Many modern gadgets, whether it’s a fancy LED TV or your smartphone, as well as sunlight and energy-saving light bulbs, give off a certain kind of blue light that can cause your retinal cells to deteriorate over time.”

    In the ad, Boots promised to "help you protect your eyes from harmful blue light, reducing damage to retinal cells” with a £70 “special finish that filters out the harmful blue light and eases eye strain and fatigue.”

    The ASA noted that exposure to blue light emitted from electronic devices is significantly less than exposure to blue light in sunshine.

    Boots submitted an epidemiological study suggesting that sunlight might be a risk factor for the early onset of age-related macular degeneration, the agency noted. But this fell short of the ASA standard of evidence, which requires a “full trial” with human subjects showing damage from blue light from electronic devices.

    “Therefore, because the evidence was not sufficient to establish a direct link between harmful blue light and retinal damage over time, we concluded that the claims were misleading and had not been substantiated,” the agency concluded.

    “We told Boots Opticians Ltd not to make claims that blue light caused retinal damage or that their Protect Plus Lenses filtered out a meaningful amount of harmful blue light in the absence of adequate substantiation.”

    The BBC also cited an interview with John B. O'Hagan, of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England in Chilton, UK.

    O’Hagan told the news service that blue light from electronic devices “was less than 1% of the safe level which isn’t remotely dangerous.”

    Study assessed blue light emission

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