Light Pollution Affects Humans, Plants and Animals

Light pollution caused by street lighting, roads, monuments, sports or advertising, has a great impact on the health of people, animals and plants, especially in big cities, according to an expert.




The most spoken language is related to situations where “light falls where there should be both local level as the level of the atmosphere, the sky”, specified the agency Lusa, speaking on world environment day, which marks on Friday, and when the international year of the light.


The main source of pollution is the public road lighting, monuments, sports or advertising.


In a street or monument, for example, a quantity of direct light can go beyond the intended space or reflect on the pavement or in front of the buildings, and shifts to the atmosphere, causing light pollution, an aspect without specific legislation.


Without enough contrast


The most visible consequence of light pollution “in the cities don’t see the starry sky”, even if the night don’t have Moon and the sky is clean because “the light that comes out of the contaminated cities in such a way that we don’t have enough contrast to realize the beauty of nature, reported the founder of CPI.


On health, he added, “the impact is huge, [because] the human being has your circadian rhythm imposed by light [natural], in which, through the eye, the brain interprets the situation day and night and, in the absence of light, the body produces melatonin that slow down the biological rhythm and leads to sleep”, allowing the regeneration of cells.


“With light pollution we can’t produce enough melatonin and alter all this cycle,” stressed Peter Roof, adding that in the professions, more often, this does not work and cited studies pointing to the existence of “a higher incidence of diseases, such as diabetes or breast cancer in people exposed to other cycles of light or light pollution”.


Plants and animals living in the city are “formatted” for the day-night cycle and a garden illuminated at night prevents flora to accomplish their tasks and affects the behavior of birds that can be attracted by the lights and collide with buildings.


“The Dark Sky Reserve Alqueva is proof that one can withdraw economic fruits have a clearer sky without light pollution. There is a growing tourism demand these sites and the Alqueva has qualities of heaven almost unique in the world “, described Pedro Roof.


Recalling that the Portuguese cities have more light than the European average, the specialist lists problems such as the lack of legislation, the absence of lighting projects certified technicians, or “few or almost no lighting directors plans, which should be an integral part of the Municipal master plans”.


As for solutions, Pedro Roof difficult implementation are not defended and exemplified by the decision to close the lights at night, “the shares maybe the easiest to do,the more rapid results, and already adopted in many cities worldwide”, as in some Portuguese municipalities.