Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Professor unveils light that could lower cancer risk

Staff writer, with CNA

A professor at National Tsing Hua University on Thursday unveiled a type of artificial light that he said could lower the risk of cancer.

“I believe it is the only one of its kind in the world,” said Jou Jwo-huei (周卓煇), a materials science and engineering professor.

The new organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), developed by a research team led by Jou, have a very low color temperature.

They were developed in response to the medical community’s opinion that people should avoid exposure to white or blue lights at night, Jou said.

White and blue lights are considered to have a high color temperature.

Nighttime exposure to white light and other high color temperature lights restrains the secretion of the hormone melatonin, Jou said, citing previous research.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps people fall asleep and regulates other hormones and the body’s circadian rhythm, Jou said, adding that low levels could lead to insomnia, biological-clock disorder and many types of cancer.

Exposure to high color temperature lights increases the release of estrogen, which has been linked to higher rates of breast cancer, said Yang Ying-jay (楊英杰), chief director of the radiation oncology department at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Hsinchu branch.

The technology sector has been focused on developing brighter white lights without realizing the extremely negative effects they have on humans, animals and the environment, Jou said.

The team’s research paper has been approved by the international journal Organic Electronics and is expected to be published later this month, Jou said.

The very low color temperature OLEDs will go into trial mass production soon, in collaboration with the Industrial Technology Research Institute, he added.

The new OLEDs were inspired by Jou’s 2009 invention — the world’s first OLED illumination that mimicked sunlight.

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