Ultraviolet radiation

The sun is our primary natural source of ultraviolet radiation. The UV spectrum is divided into many different wavelengths and can emit damaging UV radiation. UVB is the most damaging form of UV radiation because it causes photochemical damage to cellular DNA. Harmful effects include erythema (sunburn) cataracts and the development of skin cancer. Excessive UVA exposure is associated with toughening of the skin causing signs of aging and suppression of the immune system (most tanning booths use UVA lamps.) UV light is invisible and does not produce an immediate reaction and one should be aware of accidental over exposure. Protection of UV light can be minimised by the use of clothing, sunglasses and sun protection factors.

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