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UV Bug Zappers - Damaging to Eyes?

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Taluntain, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] You know, the blue-light ones that attract various insects and fry them... I read somewhere that since they use UV light bulbs, and obviously UV light is harmful to the eyes, that you could damage your eyes looking at that light, which I naturally wouldn't like one bit. Not to mention I wouldn't install one where I'd be looking at it... The guy went as far as to write that he can't understand how these bug zappers can still be sold considering how harmful they are.

    So does anyone know whether there's any truth to this? I understand that the light bulbs in these things are low wattage for the regular size zappers, but I really have no idea how much it takes to be damaging...
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Doubtful. Since the lights are meant to attract insects at night, they are probably less intense than normal sunlight would be during the day.

    And they're long wavelength UV-A which is the least damaging energy level. UV-A is the highest percentage of UV light from the Sun that penetrates to the surface (which is why it's good for attracting insects).
     
  3. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Well that's sorted then
     
  4. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    The UV bulbs used in those bug zappers are on the border of the UV/blue spectrum. While it's probably not advisable to sit there and stare at it for hours on end (no matter how entertaining it is to watch bugs get zapped).
    UV-A = 'black light' bulbs on the safer end of the spectrum, and tanning bed bulbs on the other end.
    UV-B = some tanning bed bulbs on one end, extreme sun exposure on the other end.
    UV-C = germicidal...IIRC, not very harmful to human skin/eyes

    I don't remember the corresponding wavelengths for each...but I'm sure Google or Wiki could help in that department. :thumb:
     
  5. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    It's entertaining to watch the guilty bugs get zapped. Unfortunately those zappers kill the fireflies right along with the mosquitoes. [starts playing violin for bugs]
     
  6. Loreseeker

    Loreseeker A believer in knowledge Veteran

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    Well, technically, neither UV-A nor UV-B are good for you.

    Oversimplified (and beneficial aspects aside):

    UV-A, while having longer wavelengths (better penetration, less energy) is responsible for a good chunk of "photo-aging" (collagen depletion, loss of elasticity, discoloration, deep facial wrinkles) of the skin and indirect cellular damage (triggers radical creation) that can lead to carcinoma.
    It passes through normal glass windows to a considerable degree.
    In the past, its importance was overlooked and sun creams often (even today) don't have a satisfactory amount of UV-A protection. (Even an SPF 50 suncream doesn't mean much if it doesn't have a + UVA (or Boots star system) protection mark on it)

    UV-B causes typical sunburns (erythema) and direct damage to DNA (T-T dimers formation, for example).
    SPF factor measures protection against UV-B radiation only.

    UV-C isn't normally around from the sun (atmosphere blocks it most out), but in areas with holes in the ozone layer, it can get through. (shortest wavelengths, highest energy). Definitely not good for you.

    As for the lamps, I've never used one, but I don't think they'd be as harmful as described. OTOH, I wouldn't stare directly at one for hours, either. Can't say I'm expecting any direct damage, but the skin would theoretically "age faster" under it.

    After all, tan is just the body's way of saying "I don't want melanoma, get me to a shade!"
     
  7. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    Well...knowing full well what the effects of looking at UV light for too long (work*)...Tal, if your eyes feel like someone dumped a bucket of sand under your eyelids several hours after looking at the light for a minute or so...then you'll know for sure that the light in your bug zapper is if fact harmful. :bad:


    * - At work, the tools I work on create plasma, which emits a LOT of intense UV light from the chamber windows. Well, apparently on one window I had to look through to verify proper wafer placement, the UV filter in the window had not been reinstalled by the last moron who worked on the chamber. At first, I felt nothing. Just a bright violet/blue-ish light. When I went on break an hour or two later, I was all..."AAAAaaaaaaaa!!!! Holy F***ing S***!!! My F***ing EYES! Someone put a bullet in my F***ing head! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" :eek: :wail: :eek:

    It was not a pleasant experience. :bad:
     
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