Ultraviolet (UV) light is invisible light that radiates from the sun and can also be created by some artificial sources in the workplace
- Moderate exposure of UV light is essential for a healthy life:
- Stimulates our metabolism
- Increases oxygen levels in the cells
- Boosts the immune system
- Important in producing Vitamin D, essential for building strong bones & teeth
- Human skin contains a pigment called melanin which helps block the damaging UV that penetrates our skin.
- Larger doses UV light can damage our skin, producing burns, premature skin aging, wrinkling, cell mutations and even skin cancer.
- To help protect the skin from excessive UV light exposure, it is recommended that people apply a physical barrier measures to block the UV and to apply sunscreen.
Types of UV
UVA - Accounts for up to 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB causing skin cancer and wrinkling/ premature aging.
UVB - Can do more damage more quickly than UVA rays; because of its damaging affect to the DNA of skin cells, UVB radiation is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer.
UVC – Whilst UVC created by the sun is blocked by the ozone layer; UVC is still created artificially during some workplace processes, such as arc welding. Exposure to UVC causes reddening, irritation, skin burns and potentially skin cancer.