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