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Light pollution how it affects living beings?

The pace of life in today’s society demands very high energy consumption. This production of energy causes different types of environmental problems, among which is a type of pollution still very unknown by the public: light pollution. But does light pollution affect how it affects living beings ? In this Green Ecology article we are going to give an answer to this question and to explain details about this type of contamination that may go unnoticed by people, but which also affects us in a serious way.

What are the causes of light pollution

This type of pollution is the consequence of the excessive emission of direct or indirect light into the atmosphere from different artificial sources, with different intensities and luminous spectra, such as, for example, excessive use of external lighting.

Generally, it is in developed countries where light pollution is greatest. This fact can be observed in nocturnal and interactive photos of the planet. Thus, we see areas that are more intensely illuminated, that is, more polluted luminically. These points coincide precisely with the most developed areas of the planet such as North America, Europe or Japan. As for the Spanish territory, cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and the entire area of the Mediterranean coast are specially illuminated.

One of the main problems is that in many occasions, all this lighting is not necessary to develop the activities that are carried out, that is, it is an inadequate and excessive lighting, that could easily be reduced taking the appropriate measures and that generates excessive economic costs, of energy and environmental. Formerly, it was believed that this was a sign of economic development, but today it is known that no, although it is true that better lighting, improves safety or traffic.

The solution is not about leaving cities or towns in the dark, but about achieving a balance that leads to an improvement in the quality of natural lighting.

Consequences of light pollution for people

Living beings, like the human being, possess biological processes that are adapted to the astronomical cycles of change of seasons and alternating day-night. Specifically, in humans, animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and some algae, the hormone responsible for detecting light-dark cycles and seasons is called melatonin and is produced, at least in humans, in the pineal gland or epiphysis According to the signals that this hormone contributes, the body adapts the biological processes to the light conditions .

One of the consequences of light pollution for humans is indirect to light intrusion. That is, when light is emitted not only where it is needed, but also to neighboring areas, producing losses in the quality of life or sleep disturbances. As, for example, when street lights are introduced in private homes.

Another consequence is produced by glare. That is, when a person who is on the street, is reduced or disabled their visibility by artificial light emissions. An example can be the excessive illumination of certain roads, which instead of being a benefit, drivers often increase their speed in those sections, increasing the accident rate. Another factor is that poorly oriented or high-powered lights of street lamps or other cars, often dazzle or produce areas of very contrasting shadows that worsen the vision of the environment. The solution could be to adapt the lighting on the roads to the vision of the eye, without generating excessive changes of light.

In addition, excessive energy expenditure produces an excessive expenditure of fossil fuels to produce it, which generates higher emissions of atmospheric CO2, indirectly affecting human health.

Get to know in this other article about Green Ecology What are the possible solutions for light pollution.




Solutions for light pollution

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