According to a study completed by Hong Kong University, this city of some seven million inhabitants could have the worst light pollution in the world.
When we think of pollution, we may think of landfill runoff or oil spills. These types of pollution are damaging to the environment which we live in. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat is all affected by pollution. For example, people who lack access to clean drinking water on a daily basis often suffer from dehydration, kidney problems, or water-borne illness from the pollution in the water they do have access to. Interestingly, light pollution also affects the human body adversely, and Hong Kong could have the worst light pollution in the world.
Light pollution, or excessive outdoor lighting, is clearly visible from space at night. Those on the ground will notice it, too, because they will be unable to see all but the brightest stars at night. Hong Kong has no laws regarding outdoor lighting, and “you cannot go anywhere outdoor in the evening without your eyes being blinded by this really intrusive outdoor lighting,” said Jason Pun of Hong Kong University. This light pollution has also been linked to insomnia, headaches, and hormonal imbalances.
Research done by Hong Kong University could go a long way to curbing light pollution. This would not only improve public health, but also cut down on energy consumption. Just take a look at Earth as seen from space at night, and you can see populated areas lit up. Why are we lighting the sky anyways? Check out
Personal Note: If you live in a zone where light pollution is a problem, you owe it to yourself to take a trip outside the city, at least fifty miles from any town with more than 2,500 inhabitants, just to see what the night sky ought to look like. It’ll take your breath away.