What's UV and why it's harmful?
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is not visible to the human eye. It is divided into three types: UVA (315–400 nm), UVB (280–315 nm) and UVC (100–280 nm). UVA and UVB are the most relevant to us humans and our health because UVC is mostly absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere.
UVA rays are the longest in wavelength and are present throughout the day, all year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. They can cause damage to the skin and eyes over time, leading to problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the most common cause of central vision loss in individuals over 60 years of age in the Western world.
UVB-rays are shorter in wavelength and are more intense during the summer months and at higher altitudes. They are the main cause of sunburn and can also cause damage to the eyes, leading to problems such as snow blindness and cataracts. Tanning and sunburn are the most well-known biological effects of ultraviolet radiation. Sunburn occurs when the skin forms a pigment, melanin, as a protection against mainly UVB radiation.
How to protect yourself?
To protect your eyes from UV light, it is recommended to wear, among other things, sunglasses when staying outdoors. Above all during the middle of the day when the UV rays are at their strongest. It is also important that you look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
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