Last fall, Arick Wierson, writing for the New York Observer, posed a simple but highly provocative question: “Is Blue Light the Tobacco of the Digital Age?”. Wierson was referring to the energy being emitted from digital devices in increasingly higher and more potent doses. Today, the average American is staring into some device on average 12 hours a day; from the screens of our smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors, we are all addicted to screen time much in the way Americans were hooked on smoking two or three generations ago.
There is mounting evidence linking blue light to a battery of serious health maladies. The implication for corporate America is clear: Companies need to move proactively to protect their employees from the long-term effects of exposure to blue light before its too late. When medicine finally catches up to what the scientific research is already indicating, millions of Americans will already be dealing with a litany of blue light-induced afflictions, and employers — through either their health plans or via a never-ending litany of civil suits — will ultimately get stuck with the bill. Some companies have adopted new, innovative ways to combat this public health issue.
Dell is incorporating technology like blue-light blocking Eyesafe® display in new models of their XPS products to manage light energy at the source. Additionally, Zagg is making screen protectors with Eyesafe for consumers to use its on phones and tablets.
It’s time for corporate America to take blue light seriously — before it’s too late.
Justin Barrett is CEO of Healthe.