Wellness gurus regularly advise us to avoid looking at our phones at night and to banish them to another room while we enjoy some restorative shut-eye. However, we all know this is easier said than done.
But new warnings suggest we should take their advice seriously. England's chief medical officer has warned of the health risks of blue light from our phones, along with the "daily cocktail of pollutants," we're exposed to. Many of which are linked to chronic conditions including heart disease and asthma.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said the focus on the environmental effects of air pollution was detracting from the potentially serious long-term impact of air, light and noise pollution on our health, which has so far been overlooked, reported the BBC.
Everything from the blue light from our phones and computers, to the noisy traffic that disrupts our sleep, to the dust in our houses could be affecting us, she told The Times. “As a society we need to regain a focus on pollution as a threat to human health. Our children are affected by noise pollution from roads near their schools; our houses are washed with light pollution every night; we are exposed to chemicals in the almost invisible dust in our houses."
We're potentially impacted by pollution in all areas of our lives, Davis continued, comparing the cumulative effects of pollution to junk food. "It doesn’t kill you on the day, but it slowly can accumulate and do you harm."
Davies advised people to turn off their phones before bed and called for the NHS to get better at measuring the impact of everyday pollutants. “What I don’t want is in 10, 20, 50 years that we look back and say, ‘If only we’d measured X, we’d have picked it up earlier,’ and smoking is of course a big example, and we could have taken action," she told The Times.
Just a fortnight ago a study suggested everyday cosmetics like shampoo, perfume, deodorant and other household products could be as dangerous to our health as car pollution, and are linked breathing issues, lung problems and even premature death.
Time to put the phone away, starting tonight.
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