Light Pollution: The Link to Air Pollution

Bright city lights impede our view of the starry sky and can be a nuisance for people who live close to brightly lit billboards and street lights.  Too much light at night can also harm wildlife, affect human health and worsen air pollution.  Will light pollution be our next environmental crisis?

In honor of Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, KCET’s SoCal Connected will air an entire episode focusing on environmental issues.  The episode debuts Thursday, April 21st at 9:00 pm Pacific Time.  Nationwide you can view the full episode on beginning April 22nd.  In addition to taking a look at how light pollution actually makes our air worse, SoCal Connected will also report on pesticide-free hydroponic tomatoes and the Los Angeles parks commission’s plan to sell advertising space in city parks.

Watch the trailer:

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Los Angeles – April 18, 2011 – This week, as the country celebrates Earth Day, SoCal Connected takes a look at how light pollution actually makes our air worse.

Correspondent Judy Muller speaks with the author of a new study by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that shows how bright lights prevent an important molecule, which only works in darkness, from scrubbing ozone from the air.  That makes smog worse.  So, in effect, our light pollution is aggravating our air pollution.

Proposed developments in downtown Los Angeles – the NFL Stadium and the two skyscrapers covered in billboards at Wilshire and Grand – will intensify the brightness of the night sky.  Muller asks city officials about their backing of the new projects.

Los Angeles Night - Sunset BlvdAnother study shows that a staggering 99% of all Americans never see a truly dark sky. And the increasing urbanization of the entire earth is obscuring our view of the universe.

Also in this special report on the environment, Brian Rooney updates his investigation of a Los Angeles parks commission plan to sell advertising space in city parks.

And SoCal Connected Anchor Val Zavala visits a state-of-the-art greenhouse farming operation that grows pesticide -free tomatoes in liquids.

Online at you will find additional resources and episodes available on-demand.

“Bright Lights, Big City” is reported by Judy Muller and produced by Karen Foshay.  “ Show Me the Money– Parks for Sale” update” is reported by Brian Rooney and produced by Karen Foshay.  “Tomato Futures” is reported and produced by Val Zavala. Executive Producer of SoCal Connected is Bret Marcus. Co-Executive Producer is Justine Schmidt. The anchor is Val Zavala.

The all-new episode airs Thursday, April 21 at 9:00 p.m.

SoCal Connected, winner of the Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards, 11 Emmy® Awards, 15 Golden Mikes, 18 LA Press Club Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best New Local TV Program” of 2009, airs Thursdays (9:00 – 9:30 p.m.) with encores on Fridays (8:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 – 6:30 p.m.), and Sundays (6:30 – 7:00 p.m.) exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit

SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; The Maddocks-Brown Foundation; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; Akaloa Resource Foundation, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The California Endowment, UCLA and U.S. Bank.

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