We are in the age of lights. The world is getting brighter day by day. There is no darkness and today almost we have no idea how the nights used to be.
Artificial lighting is affecting our view of the night sky and contributing to an increasing light pollution all over the world. The recent studies have shown that from 2012 to 2016 the amount of light pollution worldwide has risen about 2.2% per year.
Unsurprisingly, most of the growth came from developing countries in Asia and Africa. In developing nations like India, it is the result of Industrial Civilization that requires additional indoor and outdoor lighting, street lights, advertising lighting etc.
On the other hand, Syria and Yemen are the only two places that saw a dramatic decline. The study also confirms that light pollution continues to increase and is of global relevance.
Effects of Light Pollution on Human Health
Light pollution, which can be defined as “The introduction by humans, directly or indirectly, of artificial light into the environment,” disrupts the ecosystem and can affect human health in negative ways.
- People’s sleep can be spoiled, which, in turn, can have a bad effect on their health. This can also reduce the body’s production of Melatonin hormone which helps control sleep and wake cycles.
- Women who have excessive exposure to higher outdoor lighting may be a higher risk of breast cancer, according to Harvard University.
- Light pollution alters the environmental conditions which can have a negative effect on the growth of animals, birds, and plants. This, in turn, can affect biodiversity, according to a research from PNAS.
- Light pollution is not only making all sick but also affecting our ability to see stars and Milky Way.
Check out this infographic below to know more details.
Infographic Credit: Kevin Anderton, Forbes
Is There a Solution to Light Pollution?
By thinking critically about how to use and place lights indoor and outdoor, it becomes possible to reduce light pollution and also save energy to a great extent.
- Cut down the unnecessary usage of light and change inefficient lighting with LEDs.
- Always use low-voltage light bulbs.
- Reduce the use of decorative lightings.
- Fix your indoor and outdoor lights to make sure that lights do not shine upwards nor outwards and unnecessarily at night.
Image Credit: Florida Atlantic University
- Encourage and educate others – your family, friends, neighbors etc. about the negative effects of Light pollution