Light Pollution-How It Harms Us?
You must have felt this often, we humans don’t see properly in the dark. Nature has made us that way but this has made us strive hard to light up the night allowing us to work better after sunset. While a little amount of light can be beneficial, too much of lighting has a lot of negative effects on human health and safety. Exposure to light at night is linked to sleeping disorders, obesity, depression and cancer.
First let us look at the two safety concerns due to overlighting
Points of light that are apart of poorly designed lighting on the roadways result in a condition called ‘disability glare’. It is so intense that you have to turn your eyes away from it. You would have faced this while crossing roads. The condition can temporarily make everything but the light source virtually invisible. It can affect those who are driving. The solution to this is fully shielded lighting that directs light to the roadways instead of the drivers’ eyes.
The strategy of using bright lighting at night is a part of modern warfare. When bright light is positioned in front of the troops, the enemy will be blind to what is actually happening behind the bright light. Apart from that, the light disrupts the night vision of the enemy. So, when you surprise attack them they can’t see anything!
Now in our over lit cities, people with treacherous intentions can use the light for their benefit by positioning themselves in the space created by the blinding light. They can hide in alleys and attack people who happen to pass by. This problem can also be combated with fully shielded lights.
Adverse effects of light pollution on human health
1) Circadian rhythm
The body’s 24 hr day/night cycle called the circadian clock is known to affect the physiologic processes. The processed involve cell regulation, brain wave patterns, production of melatonin hormone and other biological processes. Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to depression, insomnia, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. The American Medical Association recognizes night light as carcinogenic (cancer causing).
Melatonin is a hormone that is released by the body in darkness and is inhibited by light. It performs a lot of functions in the body including the regulation of the daily cycle of our activities. Reduction or complete elimination of light at night helps in the maintenance of a robust melatonin rhythm. Light can affect with the production of melatonin and it is the blue light in particular that adversely affects melatonin production.
3) Sleep disorders
Our internal rhythms can get desynchronized when we are exposed to the artificial daytime made by lighting in the modern world. A shift in our body’s internal clock impairs the ability of the body to sleep and wake up at the right time, which leads to decrease in motor skills and cognitive abilities.
When you sleep well at night, you reduce the chances of weight gain, stress, risk of diabetes, and depression. It is believed that humans work the best when they sleep at night and work during the day. If outdoor lights seem to be shining into your room and disturbing your sleep, you can ether block the light with a curtain or request to get the light shielded.
So, folks that was how light pollution affects you!
Are you facing trouble due to too much of artificial light?
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