What are UV Rays? Why are They Dangerous?

What are UV Rays? Why are They Dangerous?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a type of radiation energy produced by the sun and artificial sources like a solarium. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. UV rays can also cause sunburn, premature ageing, tanning and eye damage. Unlike the light and heat that emanates from the sun, our senses cannot detect UV rays. This means we don’t notice any damage until it has already been done.Bright sun shining through a jalousie

The level of UV rays is dependent on a number of factors including the time of the day, time of the year, altitude, how close you are to the equator and how much cloud cover there is. The World Health Organisation has a Global Solar UV Index which measures UV ray levels from 0 to 11. Sun protection is recommended when levels are 3 or higher.


Health Impacts of UV Rays

Overexposure to UV rays can have a number of negative health consequences including:

  • Sunburn – UV radiation burns can occur in as little as 10 to 15 minutes and can take days or weeks to heal. Severe burns can cause blistering and requires medical treatment. While the signs of a burn fade over time, the damage can’t be undone and adds to your lifetime tally of UV damage, increasing your risk of skin cancer.
  • Premature ageing – Up to 80 per cent of wrinkles and fine lines are caused by UV rays. It also causes skin sagging, blotchiness and rough skin.
  • Eye damage – UV rays can cause cataracts, photo conjunctivitis (also known as snow blindness or welders flash), macular degeneration, photokeratitis, pterygiums and skin cancer of the conjunctiva and skin surrounding the eye.
  • Photosensitivity – Photosensitivity is an unusually high sensitivity of the skin or eyes to UV rays. This means skin can burn more easily, increasing your risk of skin cancer. Photosensitivity is caused by ingesting, inhaling or coming into skin contact with substances that cause photosensitivity, including some medications, industrial chemicals, plants and some essential oils and fragrances.

Our bodies manufacture vitamin D when the sun’s UV rays interact with 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) present in the skin, so some exposure to UV rays is acceptable. However, we can produce only a limited amount of vitamin D from UV radiation so overexposure is not a good. A few minutes at midday are sufficient for many people.


Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

Most people know that protecting yourself from UV rays includes putting on sunscreen, clothing, a hat, sunglasses and staying in the shade. However, protecting yourself from UV rays that penetrate through windows in your home is also important. Roller sunscreen blinds are fantastic when you want to control heat and dangerous UV rays penetrating through windows without eliminating the view or the amount of light entering a room.

Quality Shutters and Blinds in Auckland

Are you interested in quality sunscreen blind installations? Auckland homes and businesses have counted on Total Look Blinds for a range of classical and modern blinds and shutters that offer practicality and style. From custom timber blinds for family homes to major commercial blind installations, Auckland’s best is ready to help!

Find out more about choosing the right blinds or request a free quote today. If you have any other enquiries, call us on 0800 449 966 or contact us online.

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