Guest Editor Blog Mini-Series: Fun Facts About Ultraviolet (UV) Light

Fun Facts About Ultraviolet (UV) Light

By Jay, Operations Specialist at Southern Lamps

  • The UV radiation spectrum lies between 400 nanometers (mostly visible to the human eye) and 10 nanometers (X-rays used at hospitals/doctor’s offices and produced by high-temperature services such as the sun and stars).
  • The atmosphere absorbs most of the UV rays from the sun before they reach the surface.
  • Bees can see UV light when it is reflected off the flower petals – This assists them in locating pollen during the pollination process.
  • UV rays cause damage human skin although it is used the health care industry to restore pigmentation to skin that has been damaged.
    • A tan is the skin’s physiological response to the damage that the skin is getting from the UV rays. The skin produces melanin to cover the deeper sections of the skin from getting damaged by UV radiation. Despite possible damage of the skin, low doses of UVB light helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D by the skin
  • The human eye can absorb UV light through the cornea but can cause permanent damage if overexposed.
  • Snow reflects up to 80% of UV rays whereas water and the ground reflects less than 10%. Mountain climbers are usually exposed to high levels of ultraviolet when on top of mountains because of the reflection from the snow and less atmospheric filtering as they are in higher levels of the atmosphere.
  • UV light is known to make bacteria, virus, and mold inactive. This is the reason why UV light is used to sterilize the surgical equipment at the hospital.
  • UV light is used in food processing to eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms. Some companies also use UV light to sterilize their tools and workplaces.

Smith, M. (2019). 10 Interesting Facts About UV Light. Retrieved from

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