11 October 2013
Harmful UV Rays and Their Differences
As we all know being over exposed to the sun and its harmful rays can be very dangerous for your skin, and may lead to skin cancer, but there are some UV rays that are more dangerous than others. Coming from the skin cancer stand point the most dangerous rays are UVB rays, they are the main cause of most skin cancers. Although UVB rays are the most harmful to our skin it has the second shortest wavelength coming in at 290-320 nanometers. People living in the northern hemisphere during summer should be especially aware of this because that’s when these rays are the strongest. Even though these rays are the strongest during summer they are also able to reflect off of water and snow so people should be protected all year round, especially the fair skinned folks out there.
Coming in as the ray with the longest wave length is UVA rays, they extend for about 320-400 nanometers. Considering that UVA rays have the longest wave length it makes sense to say that they account for 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth. Differing from UVB rays UVA rays are prevalent all year long during daylight hours, and they are so powerful that they can penetrate some clothing, clouds, and glass. Most women should be concerned about UVA rays because they contribute to skin aging and wrinkles since they can penetrate into a person’s skin, damaging the cells beneath. This differs from UVB rays because they typically only affect the outer layers of the skin. This wave length is also the most dominant tanning ray which we know can lead to skin cancer but this ray can cause one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer known as melanoma.
The last and most dangerous of all the rays is UVC rays; it has the shortest wave length coming in at 200-290 nanometers. Thankfully this ray does not reach earth because it is completely absorbed by our ozone layer. A way to see how at risk you are to being exposed...
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