NOV 16, 2016 4:11 AM PST

A Different Kind of Pollution


Air pollution is something being addressed all over the world as we realize the effects of climate change on the environment. Another kind of pollution is also impacting our world and not many realize it. Light pollution is a definite factor in the environment. It's about more than just not being able to see the stars clearly from a well-lit city.

Experts estimate that at least 83% of people on the planet are exposed to light that is 10% more powerful than just what's in nature from the sun, the stars and the moon. This exposure is having an effect on plants and even some animals. Baby sea turtles have to hatch on land, but within minutes must rush to the sea. They do this by orienting themselves and at night that means that the land, which is elevated and has historically been dark should be behind them. Increased light from homes and businesses along the coast have messed with this orientation and the turtles are often gobbled up by predators because they could not find the sea. Brighter lights at night also affect the growth of new sea coral, migration patterns of certain birds and the food foraging habits of nocturnal animals. Finally, more light means less sleep and less melatonin production for humans. So shut off the lights and do the planet a favor.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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