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Does the light from street lamps increase the risk of cancer?


How does blue light from street lamps affect the body?

Do you live near street lamps? If so, these lamps could increase your risk of developing cancer. Researchers have now found that blue light from street lamps increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

In their current investigation, the scientists at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) found that so-called blue light from street lamps increases the risk of cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Environmental Health Perspectives".

Street lights increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer

The study, conducted by an international team led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), found a link between night blue light and an increased risk of cancer of the breast and prostate. The experts explain that blue light is an area of ​​the visible light spectrum that is emitted by most white LEDs and many tablet and telephone screens.

Does night shift work increase cancer risk?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) has already classified night shift work in humans as likely to be carcinogenic. There is evidence of an association between artificial nocturnal light exposure, circadian rhythm disorder, and breast and prostate cancer, the scientists explain. The current study was designed to determine whether nighttime urban light exposure can affect the development of these two cancers, adds study author Professor Manolis Kogevinas of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

Study included data from more than 4,000 subjects

The medical and epidemiological data of more than 4,000 people between the ages of 20 and 85 were evaluated for the study. Indoor exposure to artificial light was determined using personal questionnaires, while outdoor artificial lighting was evaluated using night shots of the astronauts on board the International Space Station for Madrid and Barcelona.

Blue light increases the risk of cancer

Results for both cities show that participants who were exposed to higher levels of blue light were 1.5 or 2 times more likely to develop breast or prostate cancer than the less exposed populations, respectively the doctors.

More research is needed

"Given the ubiquity of artificial light at night, it is a public health problem to decide whether or not the risk of cancer increases," said study author Ariadna García from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in a press release. “At this point, further studies should include more individual data, such as using light sensors that allow indoor light levels to be measured. It would also be important to do this type of research in young people who use blue light emitting screens, ”added the expert. Currently, however, the astronauts' photographs of the space station are the only way to determine the color of outdoor lighting on a large scale and to determine the spread of blue, light-emitting white LEDs in our cities, the researchers say. (as)

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