UV Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are produced from the sun. The majority of these rays do not make it to the Earth’s surface because they are filtered out by the ozone layer. Yet, many of these dangerous waves still make it through this protective shield, especially because of the ozone’s depletion in recent decades. These UV rays pose a serious danger to our health. They cause premature wrinkling, eye injuries, skin rashes, and increase the chances of developing skin cancer.

 

Types of UV Radiation

Wavelength is determined by measuring two successive wave peaks.

UV rays are measured by their wavelength in nanometers(nm), or one billionth of a meter. The wavelength is determined by measuring between two successive wave peaks. The shorter the wavelength, the more intense the energy. There are three types of wavelengths—UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVA- Have longest wavelengths, measuring 315-400nm. Most UVA are not filtered out by the ozone, and are able to reach the Earth’s surface. UVA are responsible for sunburn, skin aging, eye damage, and can suppress the immune system.

UVB- Measures 280-325nm, and are fairly filtered out by the ozone layer. Depletion of the ozone layer means that high levels UVB radiation are reaching the Earth’s surface. UVB rays cause sunburn, skin cancer, premature aging, suppression of the immune system, and snow blindness.

UVC- The shortest, most intense wavelength, measuring 180-280nm. UVB waves are filtered out heavily by the ozone layer. Almost all UVC radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer, water vapor, oxygen, or carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere before it can reach the Earth’s surface. Therefore, damage to skin and eyes by UVC rays are extremely minimal.

 

UV Rays and Tanning

The sun’s rays are the strongest and most intense the closer one is to the Equator.

Although UVA and UVB both contribute to cancer, UVB radiation is more like to cause skin and eye damage, since it has a shorter wavelength and more intense energy. From natural sunlight, you would receive more UVA than UVB radiation. People who live closer to the Equator are exposed to much more intense sunrays, and thus more intense UV radiation.

Tanning equipment and lamps emit mostly UVA radiation. Although UVA radiation is not as intense as UVB, this does not mean that it is any less dangerous. Tanning equipment emits intense doses of UVA rays within a very short amount of time, and your skin is absorbing a high amount of radiation all at once. UVA radiation is linked to causing malignant melanoma and suppression of the immune system. Long-term exposure to natural and/or artificial UV rays drastically increases the chance of developing skin cancer, and other health issues that could potentially be life life-threatening.

 

How to Protect Yourself from UV Radiation

Stop Tanning! Although tanning may be in-style and might give you a healthy glow, is it really worth aging prematurely and putting your life in jeopardy?

Use Sunscreen If you are going to be outside for long periods of time, whether for work or play, in summertime or wintertime, always use sunscreen. Make sure the SPF is at least 35, and that you coat the places most people forget. The lips, nose, back of neck, ears, and tops of hands and feet are the most common places for skin cancer to develop.

Go to the Doctor Make sure when you go to the doctor (especially the Dermatologist) that you ask for a full body examination of your skin. This should always be done, despite your age since people are developing skin cancer at early ages. The sooner skin cancer is caught, the more likely that something can be done about it.

Take Zeolite Daily Zeolite is a natural mineral that has the unique ability to stifle the growth and spread of cancer. Unlike anything else on Earth, zeolite naturally activates the P21 gene in cancerous cells, which suppresses and reverses the growth of tumors.  If you have spent too much time in the sun and are worried, or have had skin cancer in the past, zeolite should be taken on a daily basis in order to hinder and/or suppress the growth and spread of any cancer that may be lurking.

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