Thursday, June 18, 2009

AMA Endorses the Fight Against Light Pollution

Interesting news reported here:

The American Medical Association, AMA, has officially approved the following lighting resolutions. These resolutions are now official AMA Policy:

Resolutions approved June 15, 2009 by the American Medical Association

RESOLVED That our AMA advocate that all future outdoor lighting be of energy efficient designs to reduce waste of energy and production of greenhouse gasses that result from this wasted energy use, and be it further

RESOLVED That our AMA develop and enact a policy that supports light pollution reduction efforts and glare reduction efforts at both the national and state levels; and be it further

RESOLVED That our AMA support that all future streetlights will be of a fully shielded design or similar non-glare design to improve the safety of our roadways for all, but especially vision impaired and older drivers.

Maybe they are wise to the evidence that light at night is bad for human health.


MrsLittleJeans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrsLittleJeans said...

I was trying to say that I wish someone would address the much bigger problem of noise pollution, seriously!
I suppose that is not important to astronomers.

jg said...

MrsLittleJeans, I think you'll find that most cities have ordinances on noise pollution but little on light pollution. That said, I hope you're not giving in to the notion that we can't multitask in addressing problems or that we should not fix little things while big problems remain.

I wonder if the AMA has a position on noise. I'll return here if I find anything in a timely manner.


MrsLittleJeans said...

Hey jg,
I like your attitude, and I am aware of the noise ordinances. However, following an ordinance requires education, and that is not a simple task.
Nope, I am not giving up and so refreshing that you think the same way.
Would be interesting if AMA had a position on noise- I think deafness or poor hearing is on the rise. BTW, why is AMA interested in this issue. Isn't this mostly for astronomical needs?

Scott Kardel said...

Thanks for your comments MrsLittlJeans.

Yes, the AMA has taken a stand against noise pollution.

Back to light pollution, it was astronomers who first complained but now we know it affects the environment in many ways, such as interfering with bird migrations, hatching sea turtles, the wasted energy is expensive & directly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and just within the last few years light at night has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

So it shouldn't be just astronomers who are concerned about this problem.

MrsLittleJeans said...

Thanks for the comments Scott. I believe light would affect animals and plants, the link to cancer is weird but not impossible. Living in LA basin with afternoon haze and light and noise...well, I am for any crisp, quiet, starry sky.


Scott Kardel said...

For more on the AMA & light pollution see: