Lights: Safety & Sickness
Are more streetlights making it safer for people? Decades of research show that there is no proof that darker streets are inherently more dangerous. Studies are actually suggesting that the recent increase in lights is becoming toxic for humans and wildlife.
A study that looked at crime and collision trends among districts in England and Wales that reduced their lighting found that there was no link between collisions and lighting. They also found that there was no increase in burglary, auto theft, robbery, violent or sexual assaults in areas where policies were changed to make streetlights dimmer or turned off completely.
In Chicago, a study took place in which streetlights were upgraded or put in new areas. Control areas were also kept and scientists looked at crime rates in the different areas over time. They found that crime increased equally in both areas.
Growing research in the field of how light effects the circadian rhythms of humans and other animals is showing that lighting causes problems in sleeping patterns and even the DNA repair process of the body.
Some studies suggest that nighttime light exposure is a risk factor for some cancers, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
New LED lights help save energy and money for cities, but researchers think that they have a negative impact on local wildlife. LED lights may be especially damaging for insects that are more attracted to these types of lights and are more visible to predators under broad-spectrum lights.
- The American Medical Association (AMA) suggests cities reduce light pollution.
- Try not to stare at any electronic devices after dark.
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Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
LA Times “Let there be (less) light” – Eric Betz