Ultra Violet (UV) radiation can be classified into three component wavelengths as a means of better understanding the potential negative impacts it has on human and environmental health.
These UV wavelengths include:
The detrimental effects resulting from UV-A are negligible at best, but can contribute to:
UV-A rays typically penetrate human skin the deepest but, are not a known cause of sunburn.
The wavelength of greatest concern to humanity is UV-B, the primary cause of skin cancer – but the reality is they all have the potential to damage living tissue that significantly leads to the aging of skin.
UV-C rays, which are extremely harmful to humans, are completely screened out by the ozone layer at around 35 kilometers in altitude.
As a result, little attention is given to UVC radiation.
UV-B rays can also negatively impact terrestrial ecosystems by reducing:
I.e. polyvinyl chloride (PVC), typically found in window frames, can undergo a variety of chemical changes including discolouration (yellowing) and loss of structural integrity, which leads to cracking.