Read these 7 Ultraviolet Light Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tanning Beds tips and hundreds of other topics.
The protective benefits of UV radiation is important to understand. Warnings about limited and sensible exposure to the sun or UV radiation are greatly exaggerated. Several researchers, most notably Dr. William Grant, have published peer-reviewed articles on the exosure of the body to ultravoilet light.
In America, increased sun exposure would result in 185,000 fewer cases of internal cancer and 30,000 fewer deaths from cancer of the breast, ovaries, colon, prostate, bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach. By comparison, about 7500 die each year from skin cancer. UV exposure also protects against the development of multiple sclerosis, a devastating autoimmune disease. Safe UV exposure is available through indoor tanning.
What is ultraviolet light? UV light is defined as the invisible rays of the violet-end of the spectrum. Another way to define UV light is to say it is a short wavelength found naturally in sunlight. Here are some benefits of UV light:
Ultraviolet A (UVA) light is one of three types of UV light. It comprises the UV light band. The sun emits UVA light naturally. Commercial tanning bed bulbs and indoor tanning bed bulbs, as well as by other consumer and commercial devices also expose UVA light to people's skin.
The ozone does not absorb UVA light. Unlike UVB and UVC rays, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin. Overexposure to UVA light can contribute to premature aging. However, UVA has also been proven to provide relief for some conditions such as psoriasis when used in a controlled manner.
Ultraviolet light, sometimes called ultraviolet radiation, is light that you can't see. It can be naturally occurring, as with the sun, or artificially produced by bulbs such as tanning bed bulbs.
Ultraviolet light is broken into three bands: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). There has been, and continues to be, much debate over the danger or relative safety of exposure to UVA and UVB light. UVC light is not so much of a hot topic; the ozone absorbs UVC light when sunlight passes through the atmosphere.
Some people worry that tanning indoors increases the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma. Heredity, fair skin, an abnormally high number of moles on one's body (above 40), and a history of repeated childhood sunburns have all been implicated as potential risk factors for this disease.
People who receive regular exposure to sunlight get fewer melanomas. Some studies have found that an individual's genetic susceptibility to sunburn, and not the actual sunburn incidence itself, is the risk factor. Further, most studies on indoor tanning have not shown a statistically significant connection between commercial use of tanning equipment and an increased risk of melanoma. Most doctors will agree tanning beds are generally safe to use. Regular exposure to ultraviolet light is important for a healthy lifestyle.
Saying that any ultraviolet light exposure causes skin damage is a dangerous oversimplification. It would be like saying that since water causes drowning, humans should avoid all water. Yes, water causes drowning, but our bodies also need water; we would die without it. Similarly, we need ultraviolet light exposure; we would die without it.
It is the professional indoor tanning industry's position that sunburn prevention is a more effective message than total abstinence. Studies show that the body needs UV light to keep it healthy and strong. Overexposure is dangerous but just enough light is good for the body.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) light is the second of three types of UV light. UVB comprises the UV light band. Like UVA light, the sun emits it naturally. Commercial tanning bed bulbs and indoor tanning bed bulbs also expose the skin to UVB light.
Unlike UVA light, UVB light is partially absorbed by the ozone and mainly affects the surface of your skin. Overexposure to UVB light from the sun, an indoor tanning bed, or other device may result in sunburn. Regular, limited exposure to UVB light creates a nice, healthy tan on the body.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|