The cutaneous effects of blue light from electronic devices: a systematic review with health hazard identification

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Photochemical & photobiological sciences


The biologic effects of visible light, particularly blue light, on the skin at doses and irradiances representative of sunlight have been established. Recent research studies investigated the effects of blue light (BL) from electronic screen devices; however, it is unclear if the evidence can be generalized to real life. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate available evidence regarding clinical effects of BL emitted from electronic devices on human skin using the framework established by the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT). A systematic literature search was conducted by two librarians in Ovid MEDLINE,, and Web of Science for relevant articles published from 1946 to March 2022. In vitro and in vivo studies that investigated the effects of BL from electronic devices on skin were included. From the 87 articles gathered from database searches and 1 article identified from citation search, only 9 met the inclusion criteria (6 in vitro and 3 in vivo studies). Human and animal literature with the highest level of evidence ratings were considered with mechanistic data to form one of five human hazard identifications for each outcome category using the OHAT protocol: (1) known, (2) presumed, (3) suspected, (4) not classifiable, or (5) not identified to be a hazard to humans. Literature-based evidence integration did not identify exposure to BL from electronic devices as a hazard to skin pigmentation, redness, yellowness, or melasma exacerbation. Exposure to BL from electronic devices was not classified as a skin photoaging hazard. Low confidence in representative exposure characterization drove high OHAT risk-of-bias ratings for the majority of included studies. While these conclusions hold true for the limited existing data, a larger number of future studies with high-confidence evidence are needed to verify and strengthen hazard identification conclusions.

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ePub ahead of print