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Old 04-03-2015, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,240,343 times
Reputation: 4399

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Hello,

I am freaking out a little bit after learning that many people swear they would never hang around in front of a black light for fear of developing skin cancer.

I've had a black light and another fluorescent tube producing a blue light in my room for nearly two years now. I sometimes fall asleep under these things on top of spending hours in here a day, and now I am very worried.

How do I know how dangerous these are to be around casually? Some people say it's no big deal, others would never be around them. I realize they have some range in UVB which sounds even worse.

I found a link to the exacta black light bulb I have from the store I bought it from. I can't find a consumer website for the company, Blue Planet, though.

Canadian Tire - Blue Planet 13W Mini CFL Bulb, Black customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,889 posts, read 51,443,250 times
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meh. As you have undoubtedly researched by now, there are UVA, UVB, and UVC designations and that sunlight - even in winter - contains UVA. UVC is the most dangerous and is converted by phosphors into UVA in most bulbs. An exception are the UV lamps used to sanitize water or kill airborne organisms or differentiate geological samples.

Since you live in Canada, you have a deficit of UV compared to people like me, who have lived in Miami. The amount of UV put out by a 13 watt bulb is nowhere NEAR what you would get as a dose by going outside during mid-day hours.

OSHA has no specific restrictions on ultraviolet per se, but does have restrictions on ionizing and no-ionizing radiation. My gut feeling is that while I wouldn't want to be continually exposed for esthetic reasons, I don't see any real problem other than a slight increased risk of cataracts and a change in glasses prescription. I'd probably limit exposure to 8 hours or less every other day as a personal comfort level.

There are other sources of UV in actinic light sources. I once had an IDIOT manager who decided to adjust a 1000 watt xenon projector lamp while it was at operational temperature and pressure. She had a serious sunburn and some eye damage from the experience. The lights in some copy machines MAY have a strong UV component. Any solar concentrator may increase levels to a danger zone.
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