The Human Health “Angle” of Light Pollution

The Human Health “Angle” of Light Pollution

The more awareness we “shine” on the importance of dark skies, the more we learn of the detrimental effects to biological organisms. Last June, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that light at night is harmful to our health. Most recently, researchers studying hamsters found that animals can pass the damaging effects of nighttime light exposure to their offspring. We amateur astronomers know the value of dark skies in satisfying our innate sense of wonder, our passion for science, and our psyches’ fondness for the vast silence of space. But how do we appeal to the folks who haven’t caught the astronomy bug?

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It’s International Dark Sky Week! (April 4-10)

It’s International Dark Sky Week! (April 4-10)

Here are 5 Ways to Celebrate and Be Part of the Solution

  1. Use this week to learn more about artificial light at night’s effect on human health, the environment, energy waste, crime and safety and our heritage of night skies.

  2. Perform a lighting audit of your home and/or business. 

  3. Help spread the word about light pollution and the importance of dark skies.

  4. Watch, and Share "Losing the Dark," a free, 6-minute film about light pollution. 

  5. Become a citizen scientist and collect data about the night sky in your neighborhood for Globe at Night.

 

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LED Streetlight Conversion in Portland

LED Streetlight Conversion in Portland

Good News or Bad?

If you live in Portland, you’ve probably noticed the replacement of our familiar soft yellow streetlights with bright blue-white bulbs. In 2012, Portland City Council approved the conversion of Portland’s streetlights from high pressure sodium (HPS) to light emitting diode (LED) technology. LEDs consume less energy than the old bulbs, will last about four times longer, and have lower maintenance costs. Good news, right?

Well, yes & no....

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