Understanding light pollution: recent advances on its health threats and regulations

Miao Cao, Ting Xu, Daqiang Yin, Understanding light pollution: recent advances on its health threats and regulations, Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2022, ISSN 1001-0742, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2022.06.020.


The prevalence of artificial lights not only improves the lighting conditions for modern society, but also poses kinds of health threats to human health. Although there are regulations and standards concerning light pollution, few of them are based on the potential contribution of improper lighting to diseases. Therefore, a better understanding of the health threats induced by light pollution may promote risk assessment and better regulation of artificial lights, thereby a healthy lighting environment. This review is based on a careful collection of the latest papers from 2018 to 2022 about the health threats of light pollution, both epidemiologically and experimentally. In addition to summing up the novel associations of light pollution with obesity, mental disorders, cancer, etc., we highlight the toxicological mechanism of light pollution via circadian disruption, since light pollution directly interferes with the natural light-dark cycles, and damages the circadian photoentrainment of organisms. And by reviewing the alternations of clock genes and disturbance of melatonin homeostasis induced by artificial lights, we aim to excavate the profound impacts of light pollution based on accumulating studies, thus providing perspectives for future research and guiding relevant regulations and standards.


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