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What is light pollution and how does it affect the environment and humans?

homelandLight pollution is defined as a change in the natural levels of light mainly present in the night environment and produced by artificial light sources.

Furthermore, it is also defined as the excessive or incorrect use of artificial outdoor lighting; Wrong lighting changes color and contrast night skyblocking natural starlight and disrupting circadian rhythms; This affects the environment, energy resources, wildlife, human life, and even astronomy research.

According to the definition given by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), “Light pollution is the alteration of natural night light caused by the excessive, misdirected, and inappropriate use of artificial light.” So it obviously will have consequences but there is no doubt that it has some advantages.

What are the causes of light pollution, how does it affect us, and what are its advantages?

What is light pollution?

According to the Spanish newspaper, Oak Diario, light pollution consists of the brightness of the color of the night sky with artificial light, resulting in twice the quality of lighting that is produced in our cities. And all this because the light is being sent up rather than toward the ground, where it will be needed most.

The use of artificial lights should be limited

In fact, this is what happens when we artificially light the sky; Wasting our money, misusing natural resources, attacking the habitat of nocturnal and migratory animals. In addition, we also take away from our children the ability to look at and reflect on the stars.

Advantages of light pollution:

It is clear that artificial lights have some advantages, which are as follows:

  • High Efficiency: Sometimes the light is directed towards the ground and sides.
  • Uniform illumination: so there is less glare
  • Cheaper: energy saving and good use

Disadvantages of light pollution:

  • Efficiency is lower: a lot of light is sent to the sky.
  • Very dazzling: bright and disturbing light emission
  • More expensive: Artificial light requires more energy, which makes us spend a lot of money

How is light pollution produced?

According to the translationhomeland“The main sources of light pollution are general lighting, as well as glare from urban centers and public and private lighting systems but not only this: street lamps also play a role, they are poorly designed and skyward.

These lights are also used to illuminate monuments, shop windows, stadiums, malls, and even car headlights, which are sometimes so bright that they pose a danger even to other drivers.

There is another reason for light pollution, and it may be a bit surprising; In recent years, some companies have put hundreds of communications satellites into orbit that will also deliver the Internet in remote areas of the planet.

The consequences of light pollution on health and organisms are dangerous
The consequences of light pollution on health and organisms are dangerous

Among these, Space X and its owner, Elon Musk, is one of the most striking, given that, as Ansa reported in January 2021, more than 1,000 satellites have already been launched.

It is a pity, as many astronomers have reported, because these objects are harmful to astronomers, because their brightness makes it difficult to see the constellations: if the sector is not regulated, meteors and other celestial bodies may not be able to see.

Damage and consequences:

Among the damages caused by artificial lights are; is that 80% of the world’s population cannot see a clear sky. In addition to the impossibility of seeing the beautiful starry sky from the balcony of our homes in the city.

Much more damage is also caused by light pollution, such as the disappearance of insects and the alteration of the basic rhythms of animal and plant life. Artificial night lights also contribute to air pollution.

We should not underestimate the extent of the damage to our health caused by light pollution, because it affects our circadian rhythm (which determines the alternation between sleep and wakefulness), according to which our body behaves differently in light and in darkness.

Exposure to a light source at night can have very negative effects: for example, diseases such as depression, tumors and diabetes are common; She works at night.

Treatments:

to reduce light pollution; It would be good to rationalize the use of artificial light sources at night, but not only that. It is also important that the lights are directed towards the earth rather than the sky. In general, to solve this problem, you can start with some simple solutions:

Light pollution affects the night sky, especially the stars
Light pollution affects the night sky, especially the stars
  • Avoid keeping lights on unnecessarily, perhaps by equipping them with a sensor
  • It is better to use low intensity light sources
  • Turn off public lighting systems outside cities, as well as unnecessary lighting points in industrial areas
  • Make sure the light is pointing in the right direction
  • Replacing ineffective systems.

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