Effect on the human body of ultraviolet radiation
Jul 14, 2018
- The difference between ultraviolet radiation from infrared
- Influence of ultraviolet radiation on humans
- How ultraviolet influences the skin( ultraviolet mutagenesis)
- How ultraviolet influences the eyes( electro-ophthalmia)
- The use of ultraviolet radiation in medicine
The discovery of infrared radiation prompted the German physicist JohannWilhelm Ritter began to study the opposite end of the spectrum adjacent to his violet area. Very soon it was found out that there is radiation with very strong chemical activity. The new radiation was called ultraviolet rays.
What is ultraviolet radiation? And what is its impact on terrestrial processes and action on living organisms?
The difference of ultraviolet radiation from infrared
Ultraviolet radiation, like infrared, is electromagnetic waves. It is these radiations that limit the spectrum of visible light from both sides. Both types of rays are not perceived by the organs of vision. The differences in their properties are due to the difference in wavelength.
The range of ultraviolet radiation, located between visible and X-ray radiation, is wide enough: from 10 to 380 micrometers( μm).
The main property of infrared radiation is its thermal effect, while the most important feature of ultraviolet is its chemical activity. It is thanks to this feature that ultraviolet radiation has a huge impact on the human body.
Effect of ultraviolet radiation on human
The biological effect exerted by different ultraviolet wavelengths has significant differences. Therefore, biologists divided the entire UV range into 3 sections:
- UV-A rays, this is the near ultraviolet;
- UV-B - medium;
- UV-C - far.
The atmosphere enveloping our planet, is a kind of shield that protects the Earth from the powerful flux of ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun.
And UV-C rays are absorbed by ozone, oxygen, steam and carbon dioxide by almost 90%.Therefore, the Earth's surface is mostly reached by radiation containing UV-A and a small fraction of UV-B.
The most aggressive is short-wave radiation. The biological effect of short-wave UV radiation when exposed to living tissue could have a rather destructive effect. But fortunately, the ozone shield of the planet protects us from its impact. However, it should not be forgotten that ultraviolet lamps and welding machines are sources of rays of this particular range.
The biological effect of long-wave UV radiation is mainly in the erythema( reddening skin) and the effect of the skin. These rays softly affect the skin and tissues. Although there is an individual dependence of the skin on UV exposure.
The eyes can also be affected by exposure to intense ultraviolet light.
Everybody knows about the effect of ultraviolet radiation on a person. But basically - this is superficial information. Let's try to cover this topic in more detail.
How ultraviolet influences the skin( ultraviolet mutagenesis)
Chronic solar fastness leads to many negative consequences. In the same way as the other extreme - the desire to acquire "beautiful, chocolate color of the body" due to prolonged stay under the scorching sun rays. How and why does ultraviolet light affect the skin? What threatens an uncontrolled stay in the sun?
Naturally, reddening of the skin, does not always lead to a chocolate tan. Darkening of the skin occurs as a result of the body's production of a pigment that is a pigment - melanin, as evidence of the struggle of our body with the traumatic effect of the UV part of solar radiation. In this case, if redness is a temporary condition of the skin, the loss of its elasticity, the proliferation of epithelial cells in the form of freckles and pigment spots is a persistent cosmetic defect. Ultraviolet, penetrating deeply into the skin, can cause ultraviolet mutagenesis, that is, damage to skin cells at the gene level. Its most formidable complication is melanoma - a skin tumor. Metastasis of melanoma can lead to death.
Skin protection against UV radiation
Does the skin protect against UV radiation? To protect the skin from the sun, especially on the beach, it is enough to adhere to several rules.
- The outdoor pastime should be moderate and rational, a light tan obtained at certain hours has photoprotective properties.
- The use of sunscreen should be an integral part of your cosmetic program. When choosing an anti-ultraviolet protection, make sure that it protects your skin from both the UV-A spectrum and UV-B.
- Use in your diet foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and E.
To protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation, you must use specially selected clothing.
How ultraviolet influences the eyes( electro-ophthalmia)
Another manifestation of the negative effect of ultraviolet radiation on the human body is electro-ophthalmia, that is, damage to the structures of the eye under the influence of intense ultraviolet radiation.
The disturbing factor in this process is the mid-wave range of ultraviolet waves.
Often this occurs under the following conditions:
- during observation of solar processes without special devices;
- in bright, sunny weather at sea;
- during a stay in a mountainous, snow-covered area;
- for quartz rooms.
With electro-ophthalmia, the cornea burns. Symptoms of such lesions are:
- enhanced lacrimation;
- edema of the epithelium of the cornea and eyelids.
Fortunately, usually the deep layers of the cornea are not affected, and after healing of the epithelium, vision is restored.
First aid for electro-ophthalmia
The symptoms described above can bring a person not only discomfort, but also real suffering. How to provide first aid in electro-ophthalmia?
The following actions will help:
- wash the eyes with clean water;
- instillation of moisturizing drops;
Compresses from wet bags of black tea and raw, grated potatoes perfectly remove the pain in the eyes.
If assistance does not work, contact your doctor. He will prescribe a therapy aimed at restoring the cornea.
All these troubles could be avoided using sunglasses with a special marking - UV 400, which completely protect the eyes from all kinds of ultraviolet waves.
Application of ultraviolet radiation in medicine
In medicine, the term "ultraviolet starvation" exists. This state of the body occurs when there is no or insufficient exposure to sunlight on the human body.
To avoid the resulting pathologies, use artificial sources of UV radiation. Their dosed use helps to cope with the winter vitamin D deficiency in the body and improve immunity.
Along with this, ultraviolet therapy is widely used for the treatment of joints, dermatological and allergic diseases.
Ultraviolet irradiation also helps:
- to raise hemoglobin and lower the sugar level;
- improve thyroid function;
- restore the work of respiratory and endocrine systems;
- disinfecting effect of UV rays is widely used for disinfection of rooms and surgical instruments;
- is very useful for its bactericidal properties for the treatment of patients with severe, purulent wounds.
As with any serious impact on the human body, it is necessary to take into account not only the benefits, but also the possible harm from ultraviolet radiation.
Contraindications for ultraviolet therapy are acute inflammatory and oncological diseases, bleeding, II and III stage of hypertension, active form of tuberculosis.
Every scientific discovery has for humanity both potential dangers and huge prospects for its use. Cognition of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the human body, allowed not only to minimize its negative impact, but also to fully apply ultraviolet radiation in medicine and other spheres of life.