Types Of UV Radiation

Fun in the sun: The UV Index scale and SPF explained | 9news.com

The sun emits ultraviolet rays, shortly called UV rays.  

UV rays are invisible light waves that have shorter wavelengths than the visible lightVisible wavelengths cover a range from approximately 400 to 700 nmwhile invisible wavelengths with stronger penetrating power are shorter than 400 nmBased on the measurement of their wavelengths, UV radiation is classified into three primary typesultraviolet C (UVC), ultraviolet B (UVBand ultraviolet A (UVA). All types of UV radiation have the potential to damage eyes and skinHowever each type affects eye and skin differently.

  1. Ultraviolet C or UVC (wavelengths100280 nm.)
  2. UVC is the most powerful rayIt is the most damaging to the skin and eyesNormally, the majority of UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer in the atmosphereHowever, the recent ozone depletion in the atmosphere allows more harmful UVC penetration into the earth, causing healthrelated conditions.    
  3. Ultraviolet B or UVB (wavelengths280 – 320 nm.)
  4. Compared to UVC, UVB has a lower energyIt is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer, but some does reach the earth’s surfaceUVB affects the epidermis (outer layer of the skinand increases the melanin productionThis results in skin damages e.gsunburn, blistering, dark spots and wrinkles as well as an increased risk of skin cancerIn relation to the eyes, UVB affects the corneas, causing eye problems, such as severe irritation and light sensitivity.
  5. Ultraviolet A or UVA (wavelengths320 – 400 nm.)

Although UVA with longer wavelengths is less powerful than UVC and UVB, UVA is the one that largely penetrates the eyes through the lens and retinaExcessive exposure to UVA has been associated with the developing of cataract.  There is clinical evidence revealing that UVA is one of the potential risk factors that contribute to macular degeneration described as a blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field.

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