The pollution you never thought you’d have to worry about…

I’ve heard discussions on the overuse of artificial light, but I never really gave light pollution much thought.  Studies have shown, however, that light pollution can have negative effects on both humans and wildlife.

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For humans, light pollution can:

  • reduce night sky viewing
  • disrupt sleep cycles by preventing us from naturally sleeping
  • cause depression and sleep apnea disorders
  • and even increase the risk of cancer!  

For animals, light pollution from streetlamps can cause disorientation.  Newborn sea turtles, for example, can confuse a glowing city on the shore for the setting sun reflecting off the ocean. This can cause them to get stuck on beaches, unable to find their way to the water.

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Streetlights can also prevent nearby plants and trees from shedding their leaves.

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Light pollution is also responsible for increased air pollution. A study found that nitrate radicals responsible for breaking down pollutants are deactivated by light pollution at night, decreasing the breakdown of pollution by 7%!

Have a light that’s too bright? Turn it off.  Your sleep patterns will thank you, the plants will thank you, and the air will thank you…

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