Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In the dark

…According to Rick Weiss, Washington Post, Feb 20, 2008, women who live in neighborhoods with lots of street lights are more likely to get breast cancer.

…Strong nightlights or keeping the TV on can also interfere with the body’s production of the hormone melatonin, which has been shown to suppress tumors.

…Some studies have shown that flight attendants, nurses and others who work nights can have as much as a 60% increased chance of breast cancer.

…The World Health Organization has classified night work as a possible carcinogen.

…Blind women who produce a lot of melatonin have lower breast cancer rates.

…The latest researchers looked at satellite data to see how much light was coming up from various parts of Israel and then matched those to cancer incidence.

…After teasing out factors such as smoking, wealth, and ethnicity, they found no link between light and lung cancer, but a significant one between light and breast cancer.

…Fluorescent bulbs—like those curly ones everyone loves these days—suppress melatonin more than regular old incandescent bulbs.

…This is not conclusive, one scientist said, but we should look at this more closely.

…The implication: We might save energy with these bulbs, then regret it because we have cancer.

…Yipes, does this stuff never end?

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