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Troy, N.Y. -  8/7/2017

LRC Director Mariana Figueiro Co-Authors NIH Report on the Effects of Light on Human Health

The widespread adoption of electric light has facilitated a 24-hour society in which people work, sleep, eat, play, and expect goods and services at any time during the day or night. Although electric light has clearly benefited humankind, exposures to light at the wrong time, such as light at night (LAN), may disrupt sleep and biological processes controlled by our internal circadian clocks, potentially resulting in adverse health outcomes. Because of these potential health concerns, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) National Toxicology Program (NTP) convened a workshop entitled “Shift Work at Night, Artificial Light at Night, and Circadian Disruption” on March 10–11, 2016, and invited the world’s leading scientists in lighting research, shift work, and circadian disruption to inform the health hazard assessments, including data gaps and research needs.

Rensselaer Lighting Research Center (LRC) Director Mariana Figueiro was an invited speaker and panelist at this workshop, and is a co-author of the recent paper, “Health consequences of electric lighting practices in the modern world: A report on the National Toxicology Program's workshop on shift work at night, artificial light at night, and circadian disruption,” which captures the major discussion points from the workshop.

More information

Health consequences of electric lighting practices in the modern world: A report on the National Toxicology Program's workshop on shift work at night, artificial light at night, and circadian disruption

NIH Releases Video of Mariana Figueiro's Presentation at Light at Night Workshop

Mariana Figueiro Presents at NIH Workshop on Light at Night

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.