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July 19, 2012
AMA addresses multiple risks of nighttime lighting

The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a policy “recognizing that exposure to excessive light at night can disrupt sleep, exacerbate sleep disorders, and cause unsafe driving conditions.”

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AMA says the natural 24-hour light and dark cycle helps maintain biological rhythms that help the body function normally. But excessive exposure to nighttime lighting disrupts those processes. The effect is especially pronounced among those employed in industries that require a 24-hour workforce and nighttime driving.

AMA supports new technologies to reduce glare and minimize circadian disruption.

The policy was influenced by a study coauthored by Richard Stevens of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He was among the first researchers to identify links between artificial light at night and high breast cancer risk.

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