What are the Benefits of UV Radiation?
The effects of UV radiation in terms of its harmful potential has been widely show- cased. However, any discussion on UV is incomplete without mentioning its benefits. UV radiations of various intensity and wavelength are employed for different purposes. Below is a list -
- Vitamin D production: Natural sunlight stimulates the production of Vitamin D, a vital component in the formation of healthy bones
- Fluorescent Lamps: when low-pressure mercury vapor is ionized, UV radiation is produced which is then absorbed by a phosphorescent coating in the inside of the lamp to convert to visible light. These lamps are used in the treatment of neonatal jaundice and psoriasis.
- Sterilization: UV lamps have been employed to sterilize work spaces, laboratories, tools etc. UV radiation has been employed in drinking water treatment plants and waste water recycling projects as a viricide and a bactericide. It is also used in the food processing industry as a non-thermal tool for sterilizing food.
- Pest Control: UV light is used in pest control devices and fly traps, as the insects are attracted to the fluorescent light and are trapped on coming in contact with the device
- Spectrophotometry: UV radiation has been used to study the chemical structure of various substances and has been widely employed in visible spectrophotometry to determine the presence of fluorescence in a given sample.
- Photolithography: UV is employed in fine resolution photolithography and hence is extensively used in the field of electronics
- Authentication of documents and collectibles: In order to prevent counterfeiting, sensitive documents like passports may include a UV watermark that can be viewed only beneath a UV light. Analysis of gems, or other valuables can also be effectively carried out under UV light
- Checking Electrical Insulation and Fire Detection: Detecting pollution or degradation of insulation in an electrical device is carried out with the help of UV radiation. It is also employed in fire detectors.
- In Genetics: The Green Fluorescent Protein is used as a marker in experiments in the field of genetics. Many substances, like protein are capable of absorbing UV and emit it at different wavelength and this property is employed in genetics, biochemistry and other related fields
- Sun Tanning: Artificial methods that create a suntan, such as the use of sun- tan beds, employ UV radiation.
References for Ultra-Violet Radiation - Harmful Effects And Benefits
- Stratosphere: UV Index - (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/index.html)
- UV Index Information - (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uv_information.shtml)
- UV Index: Annual Time Series - (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uv_annual.shtml)