The American Medical Association House of Delegates in June of 2012 adopted a policy statement on nighttime lighting and human health. This major policy statement summarizes the scientific evidence that nighttime electric light can disrupt circadian rhythms in humans and documents the rapidly advancing understanding from basic science of how disruption of circadian rhythmicity affects aspects of physiology with direct links to human health, such as cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response, and metabolism. The human evidence is also accumulating, with the strongest epidemiologic support for a link of circadian disruption from light at night to breast cancer. There are practical implications of the basic and epidemiologic science in the form of advancing lighting technologies that better accommodate human circadian rhythmicity.
Recommended CitationStevens, Richard G; Brainard, George C; Blask, David E; Lockley, Steven W; and Motta, Mario E, "Adverse health effects of nighttime lighting: comments on american medical association policy statement." (2013). Department of Neurology Faculty Papers. Paper 65.