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Introduction to ultraviolet radiation


Understanding and significance of UV radiation: Impact on health and applications

Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a key component of the electromagnetic spectrum extending beyond the visible part of light that we perceive. It consists of waves with shorter wavelengths than those visible to the human eye and is classified into three main categories based on the intensity and biological effects it induces: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

Category UVA: Common radiation and its impact

UVA radiation (320-400 nm) constitutes the largest portion of UV radiation reaching the Earth. It is capable of penetrating deep into the skin, which can contribute to premature aging and DNA damage. Although UVA does not directly cause sunburn, its long-term exposure is harmful and can contribute to the development of skin diseases, including cancer. However, UVA also has positive applications, such as in the therapy of certain skin conditions like psoriasis.

Category UVB: Sunburn and Vitamin D synthesis

UVB radiation (280-320 nm) is partially absorbed by the ozone layer, but what reaches the Earth's surface has a significant impact on the human body. UVB is the main cause of sunburn and plays a crucial role in the development of skin cancer. On the other hand, it is essential for synthesizing vitamin D in the skin, which is crucial for bone health and the immune system.

Category UVC: The most energetic and harmful radiation

UVC radiation (100-280 nm) is the most energetic and potentially most harmful to living organisms. Fortunately, most of this radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the Earth's surface. However, UVC is used in sterilization and disinfection, as its bactericidal and virucidal properties are utilized in the medical industry, food processing, and water purification systems.

Hazards and protection against UV radiation

The health risks associated with UV radiation exposure are serious and multifaceted. They range from sunburn and premature skin aging to an increased risk of eye diseases and skin cancer, including melanoma. This is particularly important in the context of changing climates and increased sun exposure. Protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation through the use of sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding excessive sun exposure is crucial for maintaining health.