Light is an important catalyst for life in the universe. Although sunlight has gotten some extremely bad press it good qualities outweigh its bad. Many scientists seem to ignore its positive attributes and healing qualities, so it never gets the good press it deserves. Some people purposely avoid direct sunlight, but what they don't know is that avoidance could be more detrimental to their health. Most people know that sunlight is needed to synthesize vitamin D in our bodies, but that is only the beginning of its benefits.
In 1932 Dr. Wendell Krieg professor of anatomy at Northwestern University came to the conclusion that lack of specific wavelengths of light causes a biochemical or a hormonal deficiency in both plants and animal cells. He referred to that as "a condition of mal-illumination similar to malnutrition". In 1969 Dr. Joseph Meites of Michigan State University stated that "light entering the eyes causes nerve impulses that influence the brain and pituitary gland that trigger the release of other hormones". Further stating that "we have no idea how many diseases are linked with hormone problems, but we do know that several diseases such as diabetes, infertility, cancer and thyroid disorders are involved with hormonal imbalances".
An article written by John Ott published in a AMA news release 1963 stated the evidence of the effects of different and limited wavelengths of light and its influence on mice. Researcher/inventor Ott the creator of stop motion photography and the full spectrum light bulb, suggests that we all need indirect sunlight absorbed into our eyes between 30 minutes and 2 hours a every day to maintain optimum health. Ott and the Environmental Health and Research Institute concluded that there is a dramatic improvement in health when sunglasses are removed from one's 'visual diet'. When a person wears sunglasses certain frequencies are blocked out. Many glasses promote UV blocking, but most glasses block out much more than just that frequency. The deprivation of specific light frequencies can have emotional and physiological effects.
A epidemiological study was conducted at John Hopkins University Medical School in Baltmore, Maryland. The study showed that exposure to full-spectrum light is positively related to the prevention of breast and colon cancers. Full spectrum light is the range of visible color we see when out in the sun. As white as sunlight appears it is actually a composite of many colors. When we see light through a prism or when looking at a rainbow we begin to get a glimpse of sunlight's colors.
An Article published in the British medical journal "Lancet" in August of 1982, studied the relationship between skin cancer and the sun's ultraviolet rays. The study, found that the incidence of malignant melanomas was considerable higher in office workers than in individuals who were regularly exposed to sunlight due to occupation or lifestyle. Dr. Helen Shaw a researcher in the project discovered that people who had the lowest risk of developing skin cancer were those who's main outdoor activity was sunbathing! At twice the average at risk for developing melanomas were office employees. Dr. Shaw also documented animal cell mutations that occurred when exposed to artificial light. She concluded that skin cancer rates were higher among office workers, and clearly lower in people who worked outdoors.
A recent study found that women who work the nightshift in hospitals are at 40% higher risk for breast cancer. A US Navy study discovered that military personnel had the highest incidence of the melanoma cancer was where their skin was covered by clothing, not the epidermis exposed to sunlight regularly. The study also revealed that melanoma occurred on the trunk of the body more often opposed to the head and arms which are commonly exposed to sunlight.
Light is used in the poultry industry to increase egg production and gender selection. In some incidence 80 percent of the creatures studied shift to male or female depending on the color of the light they were under. Coincidently the pink light would create females, while the blue males but this was not always the rule. At the sea aquarium in Miami Florida ultraviolet lights (known to consumers as black lights) were placed over some of the fish tanks for decorative purposes. The curator of the aquarium soon realized that their main problem of losing fish to the disease known as pop-eye (exophthalmus) was vanishing.
Full spectrum lighting has shown to have a clear and noticeable effect on children. It is documented that children's concentration improve, there is better classroom attention and kids with hyperactivity are somehow calmed by the use of this type of light. In a few Russia factories where colds and sore throats were common place full-spectrum lighting systems were installed. What was found is that airborne bacterial contamination was lowered by over 40%. Employees who did not work under the full spectrum lights were absent double the amount of days as those who did.
A new system called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI, is now being used in hospitals and tested in office buildings. In a study lead by Dr. Dick Menzies found that the use of UV light in ventilation of offices buildings reduced worker sickness by about 20 percent, and there was also a 40 percent drop in breathing problems as well. The use of light in ventilation systems resulted in a 99 percent reduction of the concentration of germs. Jan Kowalski, an architectural engineer at Pennsylvania State University's Indoor Environment Center, said "The approach could be useful to combat contagious diseases such as flu, SARS, tuberculosis and cold viruses". Nature has evolved in which light affects the body via eyes and skin. Natural light is essential to a healthy human and animal existence.