Portland Audubon has long been concerned about light pollution, which drowns out the stars that birds use to navigate while migrating, and lures them into cities where they are at risk of colliding with windows. Across the United States, up to 1 billion birds die every year as a result of hitting a window. What’s more, nearly 80 percent of North Americans, including Portlanders, live in places from which they cannot see our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
In addition to environmental and cultural impacts, light pollution can impact human health. Emerging research suggests links between blue-rich white light and a variety of human health concerns including sleep interruption, impaired daytime functioning, damage to the human eye, melatonin suppression, and increased risk for breast cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.