What is a light pollution?
Excessive or misdirected artificial light in the environment is called light pollution. It is also known as photo pollution or luminous pollution. Nowadays, it has become a severe problem for human beings, animals, and other organisms.
What are the types of light pollution?
Light pollution has two main types:
1. Unpleasant light that interferes in natural light setting
2. Excessive light (generally indoors) cause severe effects on human health
What are the causes of light pollution?
Following are the causes of luminous pollution:
1. Excessive use of light
Most people do not care about their electricity consumption. It results in overconsumption and different use of light. At night the use of electricity can cause light pollution, which affects the surroundings in many ways.
Overpopulation is one of the severe causes of light pollution. The rapid increase in population is making more use of light, affecting themselves, animals, and other living species.
3. Advertisement boards
There are billboards everywhere in the cities. The light emitted from them at night causes light pollution.
4. Streets lights
The installation of street lights near houses helps the people for safe travel, but in another way, they also affect humans. Due to the lack of proper street light planning, this problem is increasing day by day.
5. Driving issue
Due to this pollution, accidents are increasing because too much lighting in vehicles causes temporary blindness and serious accidents. It is a significant issue during driving.
6. Sleeping issue
Most people like to sleep in the dark. When the light falls in their eyes, they turn to it and cannot sleep properly.
7. City lighting:
In cities, lighting is available all the time for traffic and commercial purposes that affect humans living in cities.
What are the effects of light pollution?
Artificial light can affect the environment badly. Some major effects include:
1. Light pollution effects on drivers
Light sources can be hazardous for the drivers of vehicles and can cause the loss of human life. So, you should drive during the daytime in the natural light or drive slow at night. Because during the nighttime road accidents occur almost three times more than the day time.
2. Light pollution effects on trees
Most night lightning does not cause photosynthesis. Due to light intensity, plant food manufacturing, the length of leaves and flowers are also affected, and artificial light can also change the flowering patterns.
3. Light pollution effects on human health
Artificial light affects human health badly. Melatonin production can be suppressed if humans are exposed to light while sleeping. It can cause sleep and health problems which include headaches, stress, etc. Humans have a particular circadian rhythm program in their DNA that requires a regular light pattern during the day and night. When this natural circadian rhythm gets disturbed, it can cause cardiovascular diseases, depression, insomnia, etc. Artificial lighting can also cause an increase in breast cancer rates due to decreased levels of hormones.
4. Light pollution effects on skin and eyes
Ultraviolet light is hazardous for the skin and can also lead to skin cancer. Artificial light and lasers also cause burns in the eyes very quickly and lead to temporary or permanent blindness.
5. Light pollution effects on birds
Birds are also disturbed by light pollution. Scientists said that moths and bats disturb by light. Artificial night at night can also disturb the migration of birds. Many birds species use stars to navigate at night. At night, many birds roost around the artificial light, which affects them negatively, and due to this, millions of birds die every year. It can also cause cyclic reproductive disorder in birds.
6. Light pollution effects on animals
It also affects the animals that depend on the nighttime environment to survive. At night, baby turtles use starlight and moonlight reflected off the ocean to guide them back to water city. City lights can confuse them. This pollution due to artificial lighting can also cause cyclic reproductive disorders in animals.
7. Light pollution effects on the ecosystem
The ecosystem depends on the cycle of natural light, and these ecosystems are usually quite sensitive to the changes in the environment. They may not be able to bear the new artificial conditions developed by artificial light pollution. Artificial light at night affects many creatures badly, including birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, etc. Changes in the activity of night insects affect the survival rates of night-blooming plants, which in turn can affect the food and shelter for animals. Street’s light can also disturb the migratory pattern of fishes. This pollution may affect the food chain.
How to reduce light pollution? (Control Measures)
We can follow the following ways to reduce this pollution as it increases day by day and becomes a threat to humans and animals, plants, and other living organisms.
1. Reduce the use of decoration lighting
2. Increase the use of LED bulbs
3. Turn off unnecessary lights
4. Use the automatic switch to turn off electronic devices
5. Raise awareness about photo pollution among the people
6. Use environmental friendly substitutes
7. Social media campaign
8. Purchase lights approved by authorities
9. Reduce the use of blue lights at night
10. Local political representatives should debate on luminous pollution