Light Pollution

Light pollution is a global problem, getting worse by the second, and we are the only ones who can stop it.”A little more than 100 years ago, you could walk outside at night, even in a big city and see the Milky Way galaxy arch across the night sky. Being able to see thousands of stars was part of everyday life, inspiring artists like Van Gogh or musical composers like Holst or writers like Shakespeare. By allowing artificial lights to wash out our starry night skies, we are losing touch with our cultural heritage” 1A Humans will never have to live in the dark, everything around them is illuminated by several different kinds of artificial light at night, this over exposure to artificial light is, in a sense, ‘fogging’ up our skies. Dimming ‘worth-wild’ sights, like the northern lights, the Milky Way galaxy arch, and so much more.

Light pollution affects everyone, it is defined as excessive, undirected, and obstructive artificial lighting. Some have been linked these illumination-induced hormone imbalance, with certain cancer, like breast cancer. “Several studies over the last decade have suggested that the modern practice of keeping our bodies exposed to artificial light at night, or LAN, increases cancer risk, especially for cancers (such as breast and prostate cancers) that require hormones to grow. Women who work night shifts have shown higher rates of breast cancer,1 whereas blind women, who are not likely to be exposed to or perceive LAN, have shown decreased risks.2 In 2007, the International Agency for Cancer Research declared shiftwork a probable human carcinogen.3 Now a large study of 164 countries adds another piece of evidence, implicating overall light pollution.

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“2AHumans are causing this light pollution by over using artificial light. Science has discovered 5 different types of light pollution, “1. Over-illumination:”3AThis is caused by misuse of artificial lights. Lights that are left on, or even street lightsthat aren’t adjusted for daylight-savings time, can cause thousands of barrels of oil to be wasted. It can have the almost immediate effect of raising utility costs in an area.

As well as disrupting natural sleeping patterns. “2. Glare: Glare is a two-fold problem in which lights are reflected off surrounding surfaces so that the light scatters and causes vision problems.” 3A It doesn’t interfere with night-vision, but it does makes it difficult to identify, and place objects. “3.

Light clutter: Light clutter is a uniquely manmade issue and it stems from poor placement design”. 3A A cluster of business lights, or street-lights, will create a contrast illumination that interferes with night vision. It is also strong enough to throw off the natural nocturnal systems of mamals. “4. Sky Glow: This is a term used to refer to the almost dome-like cover of light to city areas”3A . The light that is escaping from street lamps, homes and businesses goes up to change the quality of light in the atmosphere, and it reflects back down to the city from the atmosphere.

It can affect natural growth patterns, and the ability of planes to navigate at night as well. “5. Light Trespass: Not only is this a form of pollution but it is also a crime in many areas. Light trespass refers to unwanted light entering someone’s property”3A . It could be light from a sign coming into a residential area or any similar circumstance, this helps decrease overuse of lights. Light pollution has a large inpact on our world.

We can help by using outdoor lights, at night only when and where they’re needed. We could also hook lights up to motion sensors, to increase their effectiveness and timers to shut them off when the light is no longer needed.