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UV Light - The Dangers and Benefits

UV Light - The Dangers and Benefits

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Published by loopinversion
When people think about UV light they usually imagine lying out on the beach, the sun shining high above, searing the sky and surf and slowly roasting them to a delectable lobster red. With the sun's force tempered by the Winter, people tend to forget about the dangers of UV, think that the cloud cover or lowered temperatures mean that their skin is safe, that there's no risk of burning or worse. This is wrong, and since each passing year brings about further erosion of the ozone layer's protection, it is especially important to learn about the realities of UV light, and how we can best protect ourselves from its pervasive threat.
When people think about UV light they usually imagine lying out on the beach, the sun shining high above, searing the sky and surf and slowly roasting them to a delectable lobster red. With the sun's force tempered by the Winter, people tend to forget about the dangers of UV, think that the cloud cover or lowered temperatures mean that their skin is safe, that there's no risk of burning or worse. This is wrong, and since each passing year brings about further erosion of the ozone layer's protection, it is especially important to learn about the realities of UV light, and how we can best protect ourselves from its pervasive threat.

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Published by: loopinversion on Mar 10, 2010
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06/19/2013

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UV Light - The Dangers and Benefits
When people think about UV light they usually imagine lying out on the beach, the sun shining high above,searing the sky and surf and slowly roasting them to a delectable lobster red. With the sun's force tempered bythe Winter, people tend to forget about the dangers of UV, think that the cloud cover or lowered temperaturesmean that their skin is safe, that there's no risk of burning or worse. This is wrong, and since each passing year brings about further erosion of the ozone layer's protection, it is especially important to learn about the realitiesof UV light, and how we can best protect ourselves from its pervasive threat.What is UV light? Simply put, it's electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that's shorter than that of visiblelight, and longer than x-rays. Visible light, UV rays, x-rays-all of these are just names for different wavelengths of electromagnetic rays. It's called ultra-violet because these frequencies are higher than the wavelengths that wehumans identify as violet. There are five kinds of UV light, but the first two, Vacuum UV and Far UV are bothcompletely absorbed by the atmosphere.UVC is also rarely found on our planet due to its absorption by the atmosphere, but is sometimes used ingermicidal lamps due to its ability to kill germs. UVC is absorbed by the outer, dead layers of our skin, and cancause corneal burns (commonly termed welders' flash) and snow blindness, a severe sunburn of the face.Though extremely painful, UVC burns usually clear up in a couple of days.UVB is the most dangers of the commonly encountered forms of UV. It has enough energy to wreakphotochemical havoc on our cellular DNA, but not enough to be absorbed by the atmosphere like UVC. UVB isneeded by our skin to generate Vitamin D, but too much exposure can cause sunburn, cataracts and can lead toskin cancer. People who work outside are at the most risk of these dangers, and cloud cover is not enoughprotection to block UVB.UVA is the most commonly found form of UV, and is responsible for the tanning effect we see in our skin after time spent in sunlight, and can cause sunburn if exposure is excessive. The atmosphere does very little to blockthis kind of UV, and it's needed to help generate Vitamin D. However, too much exposure can cause our skin togrow tough, hard, and wrinkled. It can also suppress the immune system and cause the creation of cataracts.Most tanning booths and phototherapy use this kind of UVA.
 
UV light has too much energy for us. While visible light does little to our skin, UV is to jazzed up. They createheat in the same way that rubbing your hands does-but instead of simply causing the molecules of our skin tovibrate they can actually knock electrons right out of the atoms, or cause molecules to split. This results in achange of the chemical structure of the molecule. This change is especially dangers to living organisms, aschanging the composition of your DNA can lead to mutations, which can lead to cancer.So be careful with exposure to the sun. Even during the winter it's likely that you're being exposed to UVA andUVB, and with skin cancer rates rocketing, it's critical that we take care of ourselves by reducing time spent inthe sun and being sure to protect our skin from UV when we're out and about.Adult female Centruroides gracilis under UV light.
UV Light - The Way to Make Every Hot Air Heatingand Air Conditioning System Better 
Ultra Violet light has been used in the process of disinfection for many years. It is still used for that purpose,especially when it comes to the disinfection of air. UV light is short for ultraviolet light which is a light with awavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than x-rays. UV light is a very effective way to kill bacteriaby messing up their DNA. It also kills germs that cause sick building syndrome.Germicidal UV lights have been used for decades by the medical industry as a method for killing micro-organisms (germs, viruses, bacteria). This type of light has proven that it is effective in reducing the airbornemicro-organisms that pass directly through the light rays. The effect that the light has on micro-organisms andbacteria depends on the intensity of the light, the distance from the light that the organism passes, and the timethat the light has to affect the organism.There are many options for installing these lights in your heating and air conditioning system. Usually the light isinserted into the return air plenum. The air passes through the ductwork and by the light. This will eventually killthe bad stuff in your air. For those organisms that survive the trip a time or two, they will get more and moreexposure with each time that they pass through the light rays. Eventually the exposure will kill them.In larger systems it may take more than one light to get the exposure that is needed to kill effectively. The onlycaution that I have is to be careful of the exposure of some plastics and other materials to UV light as it tends tobreakdown some materials just as sunlight will.If you have any concerns about the indoor air quality of your home or public facility, make sure you check out the
 
UV light. Ultra Violet light may also be the final line of defense against those diseases that have developedresistance to drugs, such as tuberculosis and others. These lights are very dependable and can be easilyinstalled in HVAC ducts or a plenum. They also have the added benefit of reducing mold & germs. The reductionof mold, germs and algae will also help to improve your HVAC system performance.Overall installing any kind of Ultra Violet light in your heating or air conditioning system can only be a good thingfor you. I have installed these lights in medical buildings such as a doctor's office and they have seen immediateeffects. Not only was the air more healthy, but the reduction of the bad stuff in the air resulted in less time off for the employees because of sickness.
Black Light Bulbs
Black and light are two terms that do not go together when the meaning is taken literally. However there is awhole genre of black light bulbs in the lighting market. They have several specialized applications. The use of black light bulbs makes things glow in the dark. There are two basic types of black light bulbs. Blacklights available in fluorescent lights produce 100% UV energy while black light bulbs only emit a faint purple light.

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