Increase in LED Lighting ‘Risks Harming Human and Animal Health’

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    Blue light from artificial sources is on the rise, which may have negative consequences for human health and the wider environment, according to a study. From a report: Academics at the University of Exeter have identified a shift in the kind of lighting technologies European countries are using at night to brighten streets and buildings. Using images produced by the International Space Station (ISS), they have found that the orange-coloured emissions from older sodium lights are rapidly being replaced by white-coloured emissions produced by LEDs. While LED lighting is more energy-efficient and costs less to run, the researchers say the increased blue light radiation associated with it is causing “substantial biological impacts” across the continent. The study also claims that previous research into the effects of light pollution have underestimated the impacts of blue light radiation. Chief among the health consequences of blue light is its ability to suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep patterns in humans and other organisms. Numerous scientific studies have warned that increased exposure to artificial blue light can worsen people’s sleeping habits, which in turn can lead to a variety of chronic health conditions over time. The increase in blue light radiation in Europe has also reduced the visibility of stars in the night sky, which the study says “may have impacts on people’s sense of nature.” Blue light can also alter the behavioural patterns of animals including bats and moths, as it can change their movements towards or away from light sources. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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