From past three to four decades, ecologists and scientists had exhaustively studied about the effect of increased artificial light pollution at night on ecological and physiological behaviour of the mammals. The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) or master clock in the brain of mammals including humans synchronizes the physiological functions with the light:dark cycle. The prolongation of light period in light:dark cycle disrupts the circadian rhythm of mammals causing several negative or modified physiological consequences. Changed physiological level of melatonin, an important endocrine hormone had been identified as important factor causing the different consequences such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, metabolic disturbances, oxidative stress and depression. The presence of artificial light at night is the demand of era but thoughts must be given to prevention of consequences due to artificial light pollution and ‘how much is needed’. The review paper discusses the effect of artificial light pollution on biological clock of humans and associated negative physiological consequences. Further, paper also briefly discusses the economics of light pollution and measures needed to prevent physiological disorders in humans.
Keywords: Artificial light, Light pollution, Melatonin, Biological clock, Circadian rhythm, Cancer, Obesity
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