First mercury, now melatonin suppression! These light bulbs are bad for us all!!
"White" light bulbs that emit light at shorter wavelengths are greater suppressors of the body's production of melatonin than bulbs emitting orange-yellow light, a new international study has revealed. Melatonin is a compound that adjusts our biological clock and is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties.
The study investigated the influence of different types of bulbs on "light pollution" and the suppression of melatonin, with the researchers recommending several steps that should be taken to balance the need to save energy and protecting public health.
"Just as there are regulations and standards for 'classic' pollutants, there should also be regulations and rules for pollution stemming from artificial light at night," says Prof. Abraham Haim, head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Chronobiological Research at the University of Haifa and the Israeli partner in the research.
The study, titled "Limiting the impact of light pollution on human health, environment and stellar visibility" by Fabio Falchi, Pierantonio Cinzano, Christopher D. Elvidge, David M. Keith and Abraham Haim, was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Management. The fact that "white" artificial light (which is actually blue light on the spectrum, emitted at wavelengths of between 440-500 nanometers) suppresses the production of melatonin in the brain's pineal gland is already known. Also known is the fact that suppressing the production of melatonin, which is responsible, among other things, for the regulation of our biological clock, causes behavior disruptions and health problems.
In this study, conducted by astronomers, physicists and biologists from ISTIL- Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute in Italy, the National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, and the University of Haifa, researchers for the first time examined the differences in melatonin suppression in a various types of light bulbs, primarily those used for outdoor illumination, such as streetlights, road lighting, mall lighting and the like. "The current migration from the now widely used sodium lamps to white lamps will increase melatonin suppression in humans and animals," the researchers say. Info from: medicalxpress.com