Users’ Awareness, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Health Risks Associated with Excessive Lighting in Night Markets: Policy Implications for Sustainable Development
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Sustainable developmentLighting policyPublic healthEnergy SavingsThailand
Nguyen, T. P. L., & Peña-García, A. (2019). Users’ Awareness, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Health Risks Associated with Excessive Lighting in Night Markets: Policy Implications for Sustainable Development. Sustainability, 11(21), 6091.
The introduction of artificial lighting has dramatically transformed nighttime activities, becoming a very positive but also disruptive factor that must be optimized and adapted according to the guidelines of sustainable policies. In this framework, night markets in Thailand are definitely popular destinations among locals and tourists that are found in every town and city in the whole country, being the source of livelihoods for many people. It is well-known that shops in night markets frequently use colorful light sources, emitting high levels of illumination to attract customers. Since previous research has shown environmental risks of inappropriate lighting on human health and well-being, as well as on ecosystems, excessive lighting in night markets could have adverse effects on vendors’ health if they are exposed to high illumination levels during long hours every night. This is a risk for people, but also for their attachment to their lands, traditions, culture, and way of life. This study was designed to explore whether excessive illumination of night markets has impacts on vendors’ health and well-being. The research was conducted through an empirical study in a night market in the center of Surin province (Thailand), using observations and a questionnaire survey of 205 vendors and clients (non-vendors). The results show that night markets’ vendors were more likely to suffer from eye- and sleep-related problems than non-vendors. Women were affected more than men.