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Light Pollution

Inquinamento luminoso - Erynoole

Light Pollution

Light pollution is a serious problem of the contemporary era, due to all those sources of artificial light that are kept on at night on the entire planet (in jargon defined as ALAN: Artificial Light At Night). In addition to depriving us of the marvelous beauty of the starry sky, light pollution has a significant impact on ecosystems all over the world, causing environmental chemical pollution, due to the production of excess electricity, from the electricity necessary to power it, reaching an increase, in part, even global warming.

Furthermore, this type of pollution also causes damage to the animal world, various species are no longer able to orient themselves (migratory birds, sea turtles and moths), various species of insects essential for the survival of the habitat risk the extinction, this is due to the fact that with the light they are exposed more to predators, and in some cases they have imbalances of reproductive and metabolic processes. But these imbalances do not apply only to insects, in fact even large animals are afflicted by this problem, large predators lose favor with the dark during hunting, thus making it more difficult to search for food and even the life cycle of plants. is upset, as artificial light sources alter the photosynthetic process of plants, and disturb their circadian cycle (hours of light and hours of darkness), which is fundamental for the correct development of plants. street lamps in the city, remain green longer than plants away from artificial light sources, this causes a variation of the seasonal cycle, in some cases the plants exposed in this way lengthen their vegetative cycle to the detriment of the flowering cycle and consequently the fruiting of the plant itself is affected.

But light pollution also has deleterious effects on humans, as it can block the production of melatonin, a molecule that induces sleep, increases the efficiency of the immune system, helps lower cholesterol and helps correct functioning of the adrenal glands, pancreas, thyroid and reproductive system of men and women.

In addition to damage to health, light pollution also leads to cultural and economic damage, just think of the difficulty of astronomers in the study of the stars, a too bright night sky, in fact, involves a great limitation in the efficiency of optical telescopes .

On an economic level, the damage is caused by the waste of electricity used for night lighting, billions of lights turned on every night, and unfortunately, very often, to no avail.

Unfortunately, this is a seriously underestimated problem for all of us, although it could be relatively simple to solve, starting with turning off the lights when they are not needed, using low light scattering bulbs upwards, and placing the lights in appropriately.

With the awareness of this problem and the small precautions mentioned above, we could return to observe the majestic beauty of the starry sky and at the same time safeguard our health and that of thousands of species of animals and plants.


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