and a documentation of
Doctors can't refute the embarrassing facts
so they try to ignore or deny them
A detailed documentation of an ongoing medical malpractice and its continued cover- up that severely harms many premature babies
Table of contents with summaries
1. "Baby-blinding retinopathy of prematurity and intensive care nursery lighting".
The full text of this technical article is posted on the "baby-blinding lights" pages in this section; it was published in the clinical journal
Industrial safety researchers have determined the wavelengths where the retina is most vulnerable to blue-light damage. The most intense energy spike in the spectrum of the fluorescent lamp shines precisely into that vulnerability window.
Typical nursery lighting exposes the preemie in 15 minutes or less to the US industrial safety regulations' danger-limit dose of retinal irradiation for adults.
Preemies have none of the adults' protections against damaging light.
Light hitting a preemie's still migrating retinal cells can garble the cells' migrating instructions and make them stick to other cells. Under the electron microscope, retinae damaged by light and by ROP show the same abnormal adhesions between cells.
The danger from light to immature eyes has been regularly documented for the past two decades. Some researchers say light is safe for preemies because of reported ROP damage even to eyes shielded with patches, but all these had the patches applied after the damage had been done.
Bright nursery lighting brings no benefit to babies but does them much harm.
1.2. Incidence of the retinal damage
In a half century of this epidemic, the pediatricians in charge have so far entirely neglected the most effective tool against epidemics which is the collecting of epidemiological data.
1.3. Description of the disease
1.4. Current therapies
1.5. ROP and
Both the lamps and the disease spread quickly from coast to coast, and ROP soon became the major cause of blindness among children in the US. Like the lamps, ROP long remained unknown anywhere else until 1948/49, when fluorescent lamps became available in post-war Europe and other industrial countries; then, ROP suddenly affected preemies in these countries, too.
It followed again the same pattern of an exploding epidemic that started almost simultaneously in the most modern and best-equipped neonatal nurseries and soon became as common there as in their US counterparts and role models.
1.6. Retinal vulnerability to fluorescent light
1.7. Damage-weighted retinal irradiance
For an update with a slightly smaller pupil diameter subsequently reported in the literature, see pages 86 and 87 where I give the blue-light hazard for that eye geometry, as well as the aphake hazard to that eye when transparent like that of a preemie. In all cases, the preemies' exposure works out to many times more than the adult danger threshold value.
1.8. Light levels
1.9. A preemie's retinal vulnerability
The progressive yellowing of the human lens with age provides some protection to adolescents and adults but not to babies. Babies are still aphake, that is their lens does not block the incoming light even deep in the still more damaging wavelengths below 435 nm where fluorescent lamps emit several additional concentrated energy spikes.
Furthermore, the clinical literature documents abundantly that cells still in their development stages are many times more susceptible to damage from radiation than cells already grown into stable structures, and that preemies lack a number of other adult protections.
1.10. Electron microscope studies
1.11. Some studies of ROP
All the trials that found no ROP difference between babies exposed to light and those allegedly protected applied the protection from light only after the babies had already been grossly over-exposed. Some of the authors delayed the protection despite their own admission that "the most crucial time [for the protection] may be immediately after birth".
1.12. Bright nursery lighting
1.13. Conclusions and recommendations
1.14. Masthead of IATROGENICS
NOTE: After this article went to press, I learned of two sources that offer plastic shields or sleeves which filter out the offending wavelengths below about 500 nanometers from fluorescent lamp fixtures and tubes. These are
Illumination Technology, Inc., 2100 St. Heather Lane, Gambrills, MD 21054, phone 800-631-1170; product name "Litho Gold Shield" and
Gentex Corporation, P.O. Box 315, Carbondale, PA 18407, phone 717-282-8631, fax 717-282-8555. Contact Lisa Walkush, Filtron Product Manager.
In addition, the website LowBlueLights.com offers both fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs with a special yellow coating that filters out the blue part of the spectrum.
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