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Light pollution

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In our day to day we are in contact with different types of pollution that affect our quality of life. One of these types is light pollution generated by artificial light, which endangers our ecosystem, affecting not only human beings , but also animals and vegetation .  

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What is light pollution?

Light pollution is all kinds of negative effect on the environment caused by artificial lighting . This type of pollution affects human beings, the fauna and flora of the ecosystem that is exposed to it.

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This type of pollution is little known in many countries and for this reason, the planet is now faced with the disastrous consequences that it produces.

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It can be seen in the increase in brightness in the night sky caused by the diffusion and reflection of artificial light , an effect that produces poor visibility of the stars and celestial objects.

In industrialized countries, 98 percent of the population is exposed to the effects of light pollution.

  • Causes of light pollution
  • Effects edit
  • Prevention
  • Types of light pollution
  • Examples of light pollution

Causes of light pollution

The main cause of light pollution is the misuse of artificial light in streetlights, projectors, spotlights, lamps, etc., which let a large part of their luminous flux escape into the sky.

Excessive lighting generates energy and CO 2 costs in the ecosystem . This generates pollution and scarcity of energy resources .

Another cause of pollution is the ignorance and lack of awareness of people of people who do not save on light energy consumption and abuse by illuminating spaces that are not traveled at home or in populated places.

Effects edit

The effects produced by light pollution affect not only human beings but also the flora and fauna that are exposed to it.

In the case of humans , it can cause the following negative health effects :

  • Migraine.
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Reduction of the production of melatonin in the body; hormone responsible for growth in the body.
  • Alteration of the biological clock.

In animals and plants it produces the following consequences:

  • Incidence on the natural growth of plants.
  • Alteration of the life cycle of nocturnal animals.
  • Alteration of the biodiversity of the species.
  • Changes in the reproduction cycles of marine animals.
  • Modification of the natural behavior of birds and produces alterations in their migrations and their reproductive cycles.

In addition to these negative effects, it should be noted that it also affects the astronomical study of the sky , generates many economic costs , climate change and the energy crisis worldwide.

Prevention

To prevent light pollution, several awareness campaigns have been generated for the best use of electric light . Some of the most suggested recommendations for the prevention of this type of contamination are:

  • Turn on the light only when necessary and turn it off in places where no one requires it.
  • At parties and celebrations, it is important to close the blinds so as not to affect the neighbors with our light.
  • Use low pressure sodium bulbs. These are more durable and generate less impact in the sky.
  • Try to carry out daily activities during the day to reduce eye pressure and have a better visualization without using artificial light.
  • Promote this type of information to raise public awareness and avoid light pollution.
  • Avoid using laser or light cannons to the sky.

Types of light pollution

Among the different types of light pollution we can mention the following:

  • Diffusion of artificial light projected to the sky. When the lanterns are not well focused towards the sky, a large amount of light is scattered, causing the light emitted by the stars to diminish. This affects the ecosystem and creates problems in astronomical observatories.
  • Invasive light. The external lighting of streets, avenues and urban areas, not being focused directly towards the ground or being in very tall lanterns, tends to enter through the windows of the houses and this intrusive light generates light pollution.
  • Dazzling . Excessive or sudden lighting causes difficulty in the vision of pedestrians, drivers and animals.
  • Homogeneous lighting. This refers to spaces that have many illuminations of different intensities.

Examples of light pollution

There are many examples of the presence of light pollution worldwide. As an example of this, the following cases can be mentioned:

  • The lanterns light in the streets balloon-shaped emit light in all directions. These generate light pollution that affects the ecosystem.
  • The light cannons used in outdoor shows are another example of light pollution, in open spaces affecting the environment.
  • The light projectors located on street pavements focus their light to the sky.
  • The advertisements brightly lit vision and also disturb the ecosystem.

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