From: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, THE JERUSALEM POST, NoCamels, More from this Affiliate
Published July 22, 2012 09:16 AM

Nighttime light exposure linked to health impacts, AMA encourages more study

The American Medical Association has issued an official statement warning against the health hazards posed by exposure to artificial light for hours at work or during sleep.

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Prof. Abraham Haim of the University of Haifa’s Israeli Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Chronobiology has conducted research on the subject.

"The fact that the AMA has taken this matter seriously and come to the conclusion that exposure to light at night is indeed a health hazard is a form of recognition for the various studies that experts such as Prof. Haim have been conducting over recent years," the university stated on Monday. The AMA’s policy announcement supports Haim's research conclusions, it said.

The AMA, the largest association of medical physicians in the US, recently announced its new policy recognizing adverse health effects of exposure to excessive light at night, including disrupting sleep, exacerbating sleep disorders and causing unsafe driving conditions.

The AMA encouraged further research into the matter.

The policy also supports the need for developing lighting technologies that minimize circadian (biological clock) disruption and encourages further research on the risks and benefits of occupational and environmental exposure to light at night.

Haim's studies, published in peer-reviewed medical journals, include research that found that men who are exposed to artificial light at night have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Urban light pollution via Shutterstock.

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