Protecting public health from light pollution

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Kirjallinen kysymys komissiolle
20.2.2013
Satu Hassi (Greens/EFA) & Fiona Hall (ALDE)

The 24 hour daily cycle of light and darkness is a basis of natural functioning of all plants and animals, including us humans. This circadian cycle allows organisms to anticipate and prepare for precise and regular environmental changes and is important for example in regulating and coordinating internal metabolic processes.

There is growing evidence that exposure to night time light disrupts the natural circadian cycle in a manner that has adverse impacts on health. Medical research has indicated that light at night increases the incidence of certain cancers, most notably breast cancer. Furthermore, circadian disruption may contribute to obesity and diabetes. There are also reports that show that excessive artificial light exposure early in life may contribute to an increased risk of depression and other mood disorders in humans.

Such studies include one on breast cancer by Stevens (PMID: 20336819), on cancer in men by Kloog et al (doi: 10.1080/07420520802694020) and on obesity by Reiter et al (PMID: 21668294).

Based on such research findings a number of calls have been made for action to address the problem. For example, the American Medical Association has called for further study on the health risks caused by environmental exposure to light at night.

What steps does the Commission intend to take to reduce the public health risks for EU citizens caused by light pollution?

 

E-002038/2013
Komission jäsenen Tonio Borgin komission puolesta antama vastaus
(17.4.2013)

Komissio viittaa kirjalliseen kysymykseen E-1454/2012 (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/parliamentary-questions.html) antamaansa vastaukseen. Komissio on tietoinen siitä, että valoaltistus voi vaikuttaa uneen ja että sillä voi olla merkitystä vuorokausirytmin sääntelyn kannalta, millä puolestaan voi olla vaikutus terveyteen.

Toimenpiteet epätoivotun valon torjumiseksi kuuluvat jäsenvaltioiden viranomaisten vastuualueeseen. Komissiolla ei ole tällä hetkellä jatkosuunnitelmia tämän asian suhteen, eikä jatkoarviointia ole suunniteltu.

 

 

Avainsanat: terveys, valosaaste