The Dangers of Exposure to Light at Night

Photo: City in the night

Artificial light at night is not healthy;
© panthermedia.net/Philip Lange

”The most important thing for us is to raise awareness of the dangers of artificial light at night and we have already come a long way now that the American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced its new policy recognizing adverse health effects of exposure to light at night and encouraging further research into the matter,” said Professor Abraham Haim of the University of Haifa, Israel.

The participants were in full agreement that exposure to light at night affects circadian rhythms in nature – humans, animals and plants - which when thrown off can result in various illnesses and adverse symptoms. Haim presented one of his studies showing the adverse effects of exposure to light at night – particularly short wavelength blue LED - in the blind mole rat and in seeing rats, both of which showed varying levels of damage to their metabolic rates, hormone production, body mass, and oxygen consumption following exposure to LAN, as well as suppressed levels of melatonin production, which is responsible for tumor growth. “We expect to find similar results of damage from human exposure to LED lighting,” Prof. Abraham concluded, and pointed out that “Western youngsters are typically surrounded by this sort of lighting in the confines of their own bedroom: from the smartphone, computer screen, and television.”

“Street lights in populated areas are responsible for 60 percent of LAN pollution, which is intensified under cloudy conditions when the light is reflected back down to the ground,” said Doctor Franz Hölker of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany. Others pointed out the excessive levels of light pollution found in industrial areas, greatly endangering surrounding wildlife.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Haifa