Why you don't need blue light filtering lenses; Thrifting on the rise: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need. Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Hidden cameras reveal ‘scary’ pitches for blue-light lenses

LensCrafters, Hakim, Vogue and Hudson’s Bay Optical claim the lenses, which filter out blue light from electronic screens, can help prevent serious eye diseases. But experts say they’re wrong, and that the blue light isn’t actually harmful. Read the full investigation, which includes each company’s response.

Global sales of blue-light filtering lenses reached $18 million US in 2019, according to But experts say that digital blue light isn’t harmful and we don’t need the lenses at all. (CBC)

Why buy new clothes when you can thrift old ones?

The market for second-hand clothes keeps growing, as consumers become more mindful of the effect fast-fashion has on the environment. The fashion industry has been criticized for its impact on the Earth, both for the throwaway clothes that pile up in landfills, as Marketplace documented back in 2018, and for its carbon footprint, which is estimated to be larger than that of the shipping and airline industries combined.

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Indian police raid call centre targeting Canadians

Indian police say they’ve arrested 32 people and shut down a call centre where employees were allegedly impersonating Canadian police and Service Canada officials. We’ve long been on the trail of these call centres, and travelled to India earlier this season to confront tech-support scammers. 

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Why some shoppers stealing at the self-checkout

It might not be surprising that some people are cutting some corners while using self-checkouts. But it might be more common than you think. U.K. criminologist Adrian Beck calls this a crime of opportunity, one that’s turning average shoppers into “part-time thieves.”

One popular scam is to choose a code on the self-checkout machine for a much cheaper item, such as carrots, when scanning pricey products without barcodes, such as avocados. (Sophia Harris/CBC)

What else is going on?

This Lockeport woman picked up 8,500 disposable cups in under a year. Not all heroes wear capes.

The Toronto Star is shutting down its StarMetro newspapers. There will be 73 jobs lost across the country.

Is a mysterious cannabis-related illness underdiagnosed in Canada? Little is known of the cause of CHS, or why it affects some heavy cannabis users and not others.

Lowe’s plans to close 34 stores across Canada. Quebec was hit the hardest.

This Nova Scotian took on one of the world’s biggest automakers and won. He fought for his Volkswagen warranty to be remain honoured. 

The latest in recalls:

This week: Blinded by blue lights? Banned from seniors’ homes

Our investigation found opticians and sales associates at some of Canada’s largest optical chains making claims about blue light from digital screens that experts say are misleading. (CBC)

It’s no secret that we’re spending more time in front of screens than ever before.

Canadians say they spend almost 11 hours a day in front of them — at their desks, on their laptops and especially on their smartphones.

But after a long day at work in front of our screens, our eyes often start to feel dry, tired and strained, and many people are desperate for a solution.

We wanted to know if that solution is blue-light filtering lenses. You’ve probably seen the ads for them at your glasses store or on your Instagram feed.

Optical chains say they protect our eyes from blue light emitted from digital screens, and it turns out it’s not just eye-strain they want to warn us about.

Our hidden camera investigation found opticians and sales associates at some of Canada’s largest optical chains making health claims about blue light from digital screens that experts say are misleading.

Those same experts say there’s no scientific evidence that blue light from computer monitors and screens is the cause of digital eye-strain, or is harmful.

And you might be surprised to find out what else we heard.

— Makda

Some retirement homes are banning families from seeing their loved ones, claiming they’re being too aggressive. But families argue they’re just fighting for better care. (CBC)

We’re also looking at why some long-term care and retirement homes are banning families from seeing their loved ones. Administrators say it’s because they’re being too aggressive, but families argue they’re just fighting for better care.

You’ll get to see more on tonight’s episode. And you may have noticed that we have been reporting on issues in seniors’ homes for the past few years. We’re continuing to follow up on those investigations.  So if you have a story you feel comfortable sharing, email our team:

Watch our full episode on CBC Gem and on YouTube.

— David

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