Visible light is electromagnetic radiation that sits within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400-700 nanometres which sits in between infrared radiation (with longer wavelengths) and the ultraviolet radiation (with shorter wavelengths).
Although not visible to humans, UV radiation can be seen by some birds and insects. Ultraviolet light (which sits in the range of 100 to 400 nanometres) is latin for "beyond violet", referencing the fact that violet is the highest frequency of visible light (with shorter wavelengths as mentioned above). UVA sits between 315 and 400 nanometers, UVB, 280 to 315 and UVA, 100-280 nanometres.
From the Earth’s surface, most sunlight is made up of visible light and infrared, with a small fraction of sunlight coming in the form of UV radiation.
Thus, the Earth's atmosphere blocks most of the Sun's UV, particularly the shorter UV wavelengths which accounts for no UVC radiation reaching Earth’s surface. The vast majority of the UV radiation that reaches Earth is UVA with the remainder being UVB.
UVA is responsible for skin ageing and wrinkles. UVB is responsible for sun burn. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the cumulative adverse effects of the sun, including the development of skin cancer and melanoma.
Specialist UPF50+ sun protective clothing is the best way to prevent sunburn, skin ageing, skin cancer and melanoma. Solbari Sun Protection is the leading sun protective clothing brand in Australia with customers in 70 countries.
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Many of us see the ultraviolet (UV) index on weather reports and read about UV alerts at particular times of the day. But do you know what it actually means and how it affects you?