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Reduce Injurious Light Pollution Across Iowa

This petition had 117 supporters

There are dangerous and completely unnecessary sources of light pollutants in cities across the United States, and specifically, here in Iowa.

In fact, “more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies” (1). Light pollution causes a decrease in melatonin production for human and animal alike. Lowered melatonin causes “increased risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more” (2).

This light pollution also causes animals’ migratory patterns to be disrupted, causes millions of hatchlings (baby turtles) to die each year, and causes the insects that pollinate our plants to be “fatally attracted” (3) to lights that have no benefit environmentally.

The lights in our cities do nothing to prevent crime (4)! The light, instead of revealing criminals like many people believe, actually shines light that enables them and inhibits our ability to see them, due to lowered contrast.

Look up the International Dark Sky Association for more information.

Remember!!— “Many species (including humans) need darkness to survive and thrive.” — American Medical Association Council on Science and Public Health (2012)

As a citizen of Iowa, I implore Terry Branstad (the governor of Iowa) to bring attention to this outrageous human error. City lighting isn't being properly restricted by covers. My health is being influenced through no choice of my own. Streets all over our towns are light-polluted and thus are inhibiting melatonin production for us all, interrupting migration patterns for hapless animals and aiding criminals by lighting their paths. Governor Branstad and fellow Iowa officiants: enact a law that states that all cities and businesses must cover their street lighting properly with covers that eliminate light-trespassing and glare by the end of 2018.


1: Falchi, Fabio, et al. "The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness." Science Advances 2.6 (2016): e1600377.



4: Steinbach, Rebecca, et al. "The effect of reduced street lighting on road casualties and crime in England and Wales: controlled interrupted time series analysis." Journal of epidemiology and community health 69.11 (2015): 1118-1124.

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