We know that spending too much time out in the sun or on tanning beds is not good for our health. The UV light emitted by the sun’s rays can cause dangers to our skin over time. Knowing the dangers of UV light and how to protect ourselves will go a long way to reducing the risks.
What may come as a surprise is that staying indoors does not eliminate exposure to UV light. Harmful UV rays can pass through unfiltered windows.
By understanding UV risk and taking protective measures to limit our exposure, both indoors and outdoors, we can enjoy activities like hiking, going out to the pool, and watching a ballgame.
What is UV Light?
Before diving into the dangers of UV light, let’s first understand what it is. The sun produces UV radiation as a part of natural energy production. You can’t actually see UV radiation because its wavelengths are shorter than visible light. However, you can feel it on your skin.
There are two types of UV light that can contribute to skin cancer risk.
- Ultraviolet A or UVA – UVA causes skin aging. It’s wavelengths are longer.
- Ultraviolet B or UVB – UVA causes the skin to burn. It’s wavelengths are shorter.
Both of these UV lights cause harm to the skin, though in different ways. If you leave your skin unprotected while it is exposed to these UV lights, you may have problems that can eventually lead to skin cancer.
Protecting your eyes from the damage caused by the sun is very important. 5 to 10 percent of skin cancers happen on a person’s eyelids. Here are a few examples of serious eye conditions that may be caused by UV radiation from the sun:
- Cataracts – A common but treatable cause of blindness is cataracts. It causes progressive vision loss. When they form, they will yellow and cloud the lens of your eye.
- Conjunctival cancer – This form of eye cancer was once rare but it’s becoming more predominant, particularly among older individuals.
- Corneal sunburn (also known as keratitis) – This painful burning of the cornea is due to UV exposure. Your cornea allows light and images into the retina. Hikers and skiers are exposed to this condition because of the sun’s intensity at altitudes. UV rays also reflect on water, snow, and ice. It’s often referred to as “snow blindness.”
- Macular degeneration – Caused by cumulative UV damage that occurs to the central portion of the retina. Your retina is the back layer inside each. It is the part of the eye that tells your brain what you see. Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss for people over 60 years of age.
Some ways that you can protect your eyes and the skin around them is by wearing sunglasses, applying sunscreen around the eyes/eyelids, and wearing a hat.
In the United States, one of the most common forms of cancers is skin cancer. Sunburns can happen when you are exposed to UV light. Once your skin experiences too much exposure to UV light, your skin texture starts to change. After it ages your skin prematurely, it can lead to skin cancer.
There are three common types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma. The first two are curable but they are expensive to treat and can be disfiguring. Melanoma is the type of skin cancer that causes the most deaths and it is the most dangerous out of these three. All of these types of skin cancer cases are primarily caused by overexposure to UV lights.
Protect Yourself with UV Window Film
Believe it or not, you can be overexposed to UV light while you are at work. Of course, those who work outside are the most at risk for health concerns because of their exposure to UV light. But this risk still exists within your office, too. In fact, UVA rays can penetrate right through windows and cloud cover. It’s actually around during the daylight hours throughout the year and it maintains the same level of strength.
UV window film can provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It eliminates up to 99.9 percent of these harmful rays. This helps protect not only your skin but also furnishings such as artwork, furniture, and carpets.
Call Atlantic Sun Control
Protect your home or workplace by installing UV window film. Our experts at Atlantic Sun Control can answer your questions and professionally install your window film.
We will come out to your location to provide an accurate, comprehensive quote. Give us a call today to schedule your estimate. 703-687-0154.