Ultraviolet or UV rays are harmful rays emitted from the sun. It’s one of the forms of electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength ranges between 10 nm to 400 nm. On the other hand, UV rays with long wavelengths are known as ionizing radiations. However, such expression is considered because photons don’t acquire the maximum energy required to ionize atoms.
To backfire the sun’s rays, the earth’s ozone layer plays a crucial role as it interferes with the perforation of UV rays. After looking into the wavelengths and photon energy, UV rays are divided into three kinds: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
In this article, you’ll see insights into UVA, UVB, and UVC, along with their detailed differences.
One of the critical types of ultraviolet rays is UVA rays. UVA has a longer wavelength and a broad electromagnetic spectrum of ultraviolet radiation (UVR). UVA plays a crucial character in skin cancer and skin aging.
It can easily penetrate deep into the skin and promotes premature aging. However, it is a primary step of wrinkle formation, professionally termed photoaging.
The UVA rays have a wavelength range of 315 – 400 nm. Nonetheless, the photon energy of 3.10 – 3.94 eV, 0.497 – 0.631 eV. According to some professions, the quality of UVA rays is almost 500 times more than UVB rays. In contrast, it can be concluded that UVA acts as a safeguard material for the skin and inhibits the penetration of UVB rays.
As the wavelength of UVA rays is longer, uncomplicated penetrations are acquired. However, these rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer. The UVA or black lights contain a violet filter, providing a dim violet glare.
UVB is another type of invisible ray that is emitted from the sun. This kind of radiation contributes a lot to skin darkening and easily thickening the outer layer of the skin. However, the primary reason for skin darkening is excessive melanin production, which has been stimulated by UVB radiation.
Additionally, UVB rays also take part in skin cancer by lowering the immunity power of the immune system to combat such situations. Irritation in the eyes because of UVB is quite common. However, high-spectrum sunscreen can be the best option to protect the outer layer of the skin from UVB.
The wavelength of UVB is 280 – 315 nm. The photon energy value is 3.94 – 4.43 eV, 0.631 – 0.710 eV. UVB doesn’t have a long wavelength like UVA and can also easily get absorbed by the ozone layer. In medical science, UVB radiation is used to cure several skin problems like vitiligo or psoriasis. Special lasers or lamps are used during the treatments, emitting UVB rays.
The ozone layer of the earth acts as a protective layer for the planet which inhibits the penetration of ultraviolet rays of the sun. However, the sun world works very prominently regarding UVC radiation as it can easily obstruct UVC rays from reaching the earth.
Nonetheless, UVC is germicidal, and thus it also takes part in ultraviolet phototherapy. UVC is used chiefly for the prevention of airborne diseases which are caused by viruses and bacteria. These radiations inhibit the spreading of germs which causes any extra harmful effects.
The wavelength of UVC is 100 – 280 nm, and its photon energy is 4.43 – 12.4 eV and 0.710 – 1.987 eV. In medical science, UVC is used in wound healing procedures from some specialized lasers and lamps. Moreover, treating vitiligo and psoriasis with UVC is one of the most common strategies by several skim specialists.
Differences Between UVA, UVB, & UVC
The comparison table below compares each light ray on various bases.
|Wavelength (nm)||315 – 400||280 – 315||100 – 280|
|Length of wavelength||Long-wavelength UV||Medium-wavelength UV||Short-wavelength UV|
|Photon energy (eV, aJ)||3.10 – 3.94,0.497 – 0.631||3.94 – 4.43,0.631 – 0.710||4.43 – 12.4,0.710 – 1.987|
|Absorption by the ozone layer||The ozone layer of the earth doesn’t absorb it.||The ozone layer predominantly absorbs it.||The ozone layer completely absorbs it.|
|Penetration||Internal layers of the skin||Medium level||Topmost surface|
|Consequences||Construction of skin cancer.||Sunburn and malignant melanoma.||Intense burns of the skin and eye injuries (photokeratitis).|
Wavelength specifies the stretch between points lying on the identical phase of the wave. However, the wavelength highly depends on the medium the wave travels. The wavelength of the UV rays expresses how Long the waves can travel. Moreover, it conveys the movement of the beams from one medium to another. The wavelengths of UVA, UVB, and UVC are 315 – 400 nm, 280 – 315 nm, and 100 – 280 nm.
- Photon energy
The energy carried by a single proton is termed photon energy. You can assume that a photon’s wavelength remains inversely proportional to its energy. In contrast, its electromagnetic frequency increases with the photon’s energy. Moreover, this type of energy expresses the frequency of each photon concerning the beams of light. It furthermore explains the intensity of the UV radiation.
- Absorption by the ozone layer
The earth’s ozone layer can enthrall wavelengths from about 200 to 310 nm. Nonetheless, its maximum absorption is 250 nm. The UVA wavelength is 315 – 400 nm, so the ozone layer does not absorb it. The wavelength of UVB and UVC is comparatively less, so they are partially and fully soaked, respectively.
The wavelength and the intensity of the UV radiation determine the generation power of the beams. As the UVA wavelength increases, it can easily penetrate the skin. UVB perforates up to the medium layers, whereas UVC can only come in contact with the top surfaces.
Each type of UV radiation provokes different skin issues. UVA is very active in stimulating skin cancer. However, it can also be enunciated that it works as the primary step to initiate skin cancer. Too much exposure to UVB leads to sunburn and excessive melanin formation, which directs malignant melanoma. Acute exposure to UVC can cause photokeratitis, leading to redness in the eyes, swollen eyelids, headache, and blurred vision.
Effectiveness Of UVC In Inactivating SARS-CoV-2 Replication
Does UVC work potentially in evaluating SARS-CoV-2? Surprisingly the answer is yes. It effectively soothes the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The effectiveness of the virus is minimal considering the biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratories.
However, the effects of the virus can readily be evaluated in terms of doses and concentrations. If a virus’s density is considered high, then the 3.7 mJ/cm2 dosage of UVC is sufficient.
This dosage amount is enough to inactive the cell cycle and thus inhibit virus replication. If someone expects to inactivate the entire replication procedure, the maximum dosage of 16.9 mJ/cm2 is required.
UVC is an essential tool that helps inhibit the virus’s repast at a wide range. Moreover, the wavelengths of the UV radiations operate predominantly in killing harmful pathogens.
The broad wavelength of UVC, 222 nm, stood up as the best catalyst as a disinfectant. Moreover, this specific wavelength is enough and safe for humans and thus doesn’t plod away inversely on health. Hence, coming in contact with UVC from KrCl excimer in broad areas helps consolidate the virus’s surface transmission.
KrCl* excimers impose damage in nucleic acid and protein with the higher protein absorbance with wavelengths of around 222 nm from UVC.
Generally, people have a notion that UV rays are harmful. But on the other hand, it has also served positively in the purification system and the medical field. UV radiation’s adverse effect is so evident that it has overpowered its positive junctures. After looking into the subtypes of these beams, the intensity and effectiveness can be specified easily.
Surprisingly, UVC can also function prominently in the replication or spreading of the viruses of SARS-CoV-2. The audience believes that UV radiations are always climacteric to affect the health of humans. However, the specific wavelengths of the UV rays have always been conducted efficiently to conserve humans from the deadly virus destroying their existence.
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