Ultraviolet light is an electromagnetic light with a wavelength that is shorter than violet light but longer than the light used in x-rays. These types of lights give off a certain amount of radiation and energy, are strong enough to kill germs, and give some substances a fluorescent glow. Commonly called UV lights, they are often used in different kinds of ultraviolet equipment.
Tanning beds are one such type of ultraviolet equipment and works by using several fluorescent bulbs to enhance an individual’s skin color. People who want to make their skin darker often lay in tanning beds. The customer gets in the bed and turns a timer on to activate the machine. However, because the lights use a small amount of radiation and mimic the sun’s rays, there is health risks associated with using tanning beds. The World Health Organization has issued a warning that tanning beds pose a severe carcinogenic threat to humans.
Security companies use ultraviolet equipment in the form of ultraviolet lamps. The security officers use a specific lamp called a black light to find artificial substances. For example, this light could confirm the authenticity of bank notes and rare paintings.
Another kind of ultraviolet equipment is an ultraviolet water purification system. This system cleans the air using germicidal ultraviolet lamps. These machines use ultraviolet rays with titanium dioxide to create an oxidative effect, which sterilizes the air and gets rid of harmful toxins. These germicidal air purifiers are popular because they last a long time, require little maintenance and can run off one battery a year.
Crime scene technicians use ultraviolet equipment to get forensic evidence from a crime scene. These lights are called ultraviolet monochromators and can detect bodily fluids such as semen, blood and saliva. Officers use also another ultraviolet light technology called optical spectroscopy to illuminate images of fingerprints and illegal substances. Optical spectroscopy uses a special ultraviolet light and magnifying lens to reproduce the images of the fingerprints and residues.
There are safety risks for individuals who use ultraviolet equipment. The radiation from ultraviolet lights could be harmful to a person’s skin and overall health if exposed to it over a long period. Most safety specialists recommended that people who use ultraviolet equipment wear safety goggles and protective gloves designed especially for ultraviolet rays. Workers who work around large ultraviolet equipment can also get ultraviolet face shields to shield their face and skin from the ultraviolet light.