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Shedding light on the ART laboratory.

This commentary examines the impact of light conditions in the assisted reproductive technology (ART) laboratory, specifically considering gametes and embryo culture. While these processes traditionally occur in the absence of light within the female reproductive tract, laboratory conditions often involve exposure to varying wavelengths, intensities and light sources. Although literature reports describe potential detrimental effects of certain wavelengths of light on biological material, these findings are often based on experiments that might not reflect actual laboratory conditions. Current ART laboratory practices aim to minimize light exposure; however, some procedures necessitate light exposure, typically involving microscopy. Results from the authors' cross-sectional survey on light-intensity practices in ART laboratories revealed the frequent use of inadequate lighting, leading to errors and impacting staff well-being. A failure mode and effects analysis was used to identify potential failure modes and their impacts due to poor lighting. Overall, this manuscript stresses the importance of maintaining proper ambient lighting in the ART laboratory, balancing the potentially detrimental effects of light on gametes and embryos against the need for proper lighting for accurate procedures and staff well-being. Adequate lighting not only ensures the safety of reproductive cells, but also improves process management and the operators' psychological conditions.

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