Light exposure and carcinoma development

In the early 1960s, experiments were conducted to see what impact light had on the development of cancer. A 2-year pilot study was undertaken by S.L. Gabby MD to determine the effects of different lighting regimes on C3H mice.


C3H mice are chosen for these studies as they are prone to tumor development. 98% of males and females will typically develop breast carcinoma.


The following results were seen:

  • A: 30 pairs of mice were exposed to pink fluorescent light. 29 female mice developed cancer. Females died 1 month earlier than those in Group B. 1-2 offspring per litter, instead of 6-15.

  • B: 30 pairs of mice were exposed to daylight-white fluorescent light. 24 female mice developed cancer.
  • C. 8 control pairs were kept exposed to daylight through windows into basement room. They developed cancer 3 months after group A and 2 months after group B.

Source: S.L. Gabby (1961), Observations on the effects of artificial light on the health and development of mice, cited by J.N. Ott (1982), How to Stay Healthy, Devin-Adair (1982), ISBN 0-8159-61 21-9.


An additional study was completed by J.N. Ott in the 1970s using the same type of mice to look at the relationship between light and mortality rates. Over 2,000 C3H mice were used in that experiment. The following results were seen:

  • A: Mice kept under pink fluorescent lived an average of 7.5 months

  • B: Mice kept under daylight white fluorescent lived an average of 8.2 months
  • C: Mice kept under full-spectrum plastic glazing lived an average of 15.6 months
  • D: Mice kept under natural outdoor daylight lived an average of 16.1 months

Source: J.N. Ott (1973), Health and Light: The Extraordinary Study That Shows How Light Affects Your Health And Emotional Well-being, Ariel Press, USA, ISBN 0-89804-098-1.


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