A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, involving researchers from the University of Exeter, has discovered a link between the ‘blue light’ emitted by LED streetlights in many large cities and increased risk of breast and prostate cancer.
The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, utilised data from more than 4,000 people in 11 regions of Spain. Whilst lighting is used to create ‘orange’ emissions, modern lighting emits a bright ‘blue’ colour. Participants exposed to more blue light were found to have double the risk of prostate cancer and 1.5 times more likelihood of developing breast cancer.The study was conducted using images taken from the International Space Station to evaluate light levels, the first of its kind to use this method.
Participants exposed to more blue light were found to have double the risk of prostate cancer and 1.5 times more likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Dr Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel, of the University of Exeter, stated: “Humans have evolved to need light during the day and darkness at night. As towns and cities replace older lighting, we’re all exposed to higher levels of “blue” lights, which can disrupt our biological clocks. It’s imperative that we know for sure whether this increases our risk of cancer.”