What is UV? …And why does it matter?
Light is a form of radiation. The “visible light” is a small segment of the the electromagnetic spectrum. As summer approaches we hear a lot about UV light or Ultraviolet light.
Look at sunblock and you will see blocks so much UVA and UVA, sunglasses are the same way and now some clothing and outdoor furniture also talk about UV blocking which can fade their colors over time if their is no blocking.
- UVA – Aging:
- 95% of all UV reaching the earth
- remains constant all year long at most latitudes
- responsible for aging of the skin and loss of elastin.
- penetrates uncoated glasses
- UVB – Sun Burns
- more intense then UVA
- Strongest in the summer and can be filtered out by glass
- sunblocks work to prevent UVB penetration to the skin
Overexposure and unprotected skin can lead to skin cancer, cataract development, macular degeneration, etc. There are some positives with limited exposures like vitamin D that is produced in the skin which helps with bone strength and density as well as helpful to the immune system.
Summer is more problematic due to more UVB being able to pass through the ozone layer. Watching the weather in mid and late summer there are days where an ozone alert is posted meaning exposure to UVB is particularly high on that day, which causes more damage quicker.