So my parents decided to get a new fridge early this year around my birthday. This was not a present. While the old fridge was kind of small and I could see why a new one might be in order, I definitely had some reservations about the idea of a new major appliance that had nothing to do with blue light. I was originally concerned about:
- chemicals from manufacturing
- NSA spying capability
- Trojan horse “Smart” features that really make you lose money
Ultimately, none of these ended up being a concern (that I know of) with the new fridge, but it does tend to make this mysterious whirring sound (with no ice maker). My original concerns were all overshadowed by its massively bright blue fridge light that quickly began irking me from the moment we first opened it, and I was inspired to protest with a customer complaint to Samsung.
After being thoroughly annoyed and jolted out of my slow descent into sleepiness at times my parents were digging through the fridge behind me in the late evening, I couldn’t take it anymore! So I hopped on Samsung’s website and directed my complaint at the manufacturers of this domestic monstrosity. I figured, this just shouldn’t be allowed, considering all of the information available about blue light and melatonin production.
We must stop the proliferation of blue light in technology! It is in everything! Even Mulder and Skully were rockin’ these “cool” blue LED flashlights in the new mini-season this past winter.
While I don’t have the original text from my complaint to Samsung, I think it was something to the effect of:
Hello, my parents recently purchased a Samsung refrigerator, model RF26HFENDWW, and the interior light when the fridge is opened is just unbearable. It is blue light, which wakes me up if it is opened in my presence at night time. There are many known negative health effects from being exposed to blue light at night. I would like to complain about this design and make you aware that this is unacceptable, and you should only use safe yellow light in your refrigerators.
I received this response:
Dear Robert Dahl,
Thank you for contacting Samsung. With reference to your email, I see that you are concerned the using the refrigerator due to the blue light inside it. I can only imagine the level of disappointment that you might have gone through. However; I would like to stress thatSamsung has world class products and we at Samsung strive to give our best service to our customers. Let me assure you that Samsunghas designs its products after extensive technical research and feedback from customers about the product by its design team.
I apologize, but I am not able to find any refrigerator registered with the information provided in your email. Design specifications may differ from model to model, so I need to request your product’s specific information.
First let me confirm that your product was purchased in the US.
If purchased outside of the US, you will be able to receive local support by using the link below and selecting your country:
Next, please provide the following information:
1. Full name:
As soon as we hear back from you, we will get started, thank you.
To which I replied:
The item was purchased inside the U.S.
1. Full name: Robert Dahl
2. Mobile / phone number:
3. Alternate phone number:
4. Email address:
5. Physical address:
6. Model code: RF26HFENDWW
7. Serial number: 0AHR4BBGA00561P
8. Date of purchase: January 2016
9. Place of purchase: Home Depot, Baltimore, MD
10. Were there any health issues caused due to this issue? Yes. Blue light causes a decrease in melatonin, which leads to difficulty sleeping (experienced), lowered immunity (experienced), general disorientation (experienced), headaches (slightly experienced), and contributes to cancer (not sure). I cannot have the fridge open near me at night, because it wakes me up and makes me not able to sleep. It is also very unpleasant when you are winding down for the night to have such bright light come on around you. I feel negative effects immediately, mostly in the form of disorientation and headaches. Here is an article describing why it is bad to have an excess of blue light at night: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Why I’m Up in Arms About This
This is not just a complaint made out of annoyance. There are serious medical implications to blue light exposure.
First and foremost, it personally makes me feel sick. I want to be able to use my kitchen fridge at night, or have others use it around me, without feeling irritated or even becoming slightly lightheaded and nauseous if it’s open too long and I’m tired enough. Blue light affects some people more than others, probably due to differing amounts of melatonin production, previous circadian rhythm disruption, and a little bit of EMF sensitivity (from prior overexposure).
The worst effects from blue light are when it is viewed at night, which is why the refrigerator is one of the most important appliances for LED and fluorescent bulbs to be left out of.
Blue light also negatively effects eyesight over time, even to the point of causing macular degeneration.
Every bit of literature on babies sleep/sleep training most definitely includes making sure your baby is not exposed to artificial lights at night to “teach” them about night and day. Perhaps it is because of these sleep-deprived parents’ desperation that anyone takes this matter seriously enough to purchase blackout curtains, or make sure their babies don’t see the TV and computer screens before bed. Why don’t we extend the same kind of importance to ourselves? Our adult circadian rhythms are subject to the same disruptions as babies when exposed to excess blue light.
Once recently, I had an episode of blue light exposure from a searing blue headlight my Dad was sporting while he was asking me something during an ungodly hour of the wee morning. I can’t seem to recall what he was asking me about, but I do know that I began to perspire almost immediately after the beam was concentrated on my closed eyelids for approximately 1 minute. When he started talking, I opened them to see that awful bright blue glow like a train screaming down the tracks toward me. The rest of the morning after being blasted, I tried to get back to sleep, but my system was so awake I didn’t even have a chance. I spent the first half of the day all at once nauseous, cranky, and sleepy.
This is just one personal example of many possible things that could go wrong from overexposure to blue light, especially for any significant amount of time. For most people, the effect is gradual, because blue light, especially after dark, suppresses melatonin (your sleep hormone), which is responsible for cellular repair and mostly originates and is active in the gut. Over time, this compromised cellular repair can lead to massive oxidative stress and even cancer. In the meantime, though, a lack of good, effective sleep will make you feel achy, nauseous, bloated, and otherwise inflamed from the hormonal disruption (among many many other related effects).
A World of Perpetual Day
Humans have historically dwelled on the fear of perpetual night. But like many elements of the natural world, both sides of the coin are extremely important. Just like light, we need darkness to thrive, and really just to survive. There are many places and many ways that blue light has been proliferating, and it’s becoming extremely hard to avoid. (Like I said, the stuff is everywhere!)
Have you noticed shopping centers, parking lots, retail stores, street lights, and housing developments cropping up that leave their lights on all night? Is this happening because of the availability of newer and cheaper sources of lighting and electricity? Out of a need for safety and security? More exposure for businesses? Affordability definitely comes into play, because fluorescent bulbs last a while and make the cost of lighting huge parking lots a lot more practical.
LEDs last even longer, which explains why my fridge company thinks it’s so great to bathe me in its sickening luminescence—just to qualify for the “Energy Saver” sticker on their product. Who doesn’t want to save money on their electricity bill? Well, these miracle bulbs just happen to have the most blue light.
It honestly makes me want to puke.
Outdoor blue light sources also contribute greatly to light pollution, which has numerous negative effects on humans, animals, and the environment. —Besides just making it hard to see those beautiful stars.
People are spending more and more time using electronic devices, like iPhones, iPads, laptops, and big-screen TVs— later and later into the night. How many people do you know (besides yourself) who surf the web from bed? Trust me, there’s no judgement here. I’ve been there. But your melatonin and your sleep do not appreciate this. You have to stop.
You can deal with the screen problem by either shutting off all electronic devices after the sun goes down, or you can use the program f.lux on laptops and even some tablets and phones. I use it, and it’s extremely effective. I don’t have any sleep disturbance at all when I rock f.lux on “candlelight” mode (the lowest setting possible which makes your screen almost entirely yellow light). It’s like a soothing fireplace (or candle…) that lulls you to sleep as you finish up your online correspondence for the day.
Light Bulbs and Appliances
All of which brings me to the conundrum that inspired this article. Getting into light bulbs, we’re talking about legal issues. Apparently, incandescent, the most healthy and classic light bulbs that brought us through the greater part of the 20th century, are now illegal. Even CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs) are going to the wayside. It’s all because they take so much energy (even though they last unbelievable amounts of time and are extremely low cost). This is all well and good. However, CFLs and LEDs are yet another source of blue light polluting our lives. You basically cannot escape it.
It’s almost as if it’s some sort of plan to “illuminate” the entire planet. If you could not escape light anywhere you went, we would all eventually lose our ability to generate melatonin, which would lead to the rapid degradation of our cells and our sleep. It goes without saying that these are necessary to survive or have any sort of quality of life.
These problems with light find their origins in a misplaced set of priorities. Those who wish to proliferate these “energy-saving” devices are UN, IPCC, and Sierra Club types. Basically, they’re globalists who act as if they’re out for your interests, but their “god” is nature, and the way they worship is to sacrifice human health for the health of the planet—or at least to put off the illusion that they’re doing so. Even if they are helping the planet by using less energy and burning less fossil fuels to generate cheaper energy, they are doing it at the expense of the residents of the planet.
Honestly, though, energy conservation and initiatives to use less fossil fuels are just about control. Here’s an article by Jay Dyer that concisely explains the evidence of and the real impetus behind phony environmentalism.
For instance, at Mom’s Organic Market, where I do most of my shopping, their bathroom lights are spaceship-like bright blue LED lights. I always walk out of there in a melatonin-depleted daze, even in the middle of the day. It just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve yet to make a formal complaint, but I’ll update you on that and the results of my Samsung complaint on the follow-up to this article.
A Call to Action
I hope that this has given you some perspective on how to actively approach customer complaints for matters that are bigger than just your satisfaction with the product. When you make complaints along the lines of burgeoning environmental health concerns with toxic substances and exposures, you are part of a greater movement for a better world. Never hold back, and encourage your friends to make specific complaints like this to the relevant manufacturers/companies that distribute them.
Don’t just buy into what you are told is “green” and “sustainable,” but start to advocate for your own health first and foremost. For instance, organic grocery stores often use fluorescent light, or even worse, LED lights in their stores. This is done not for your benefit, but to supposedly lower their carbon footprint and “save the world.” Even this proposition is doubtful, but the main problem is, they’re not putting your health first. Fluorescent and LED light are simply not healthy options for humans.