How to Protect Your Skin from Unhealthy UV Rays in Your Home

Ultra violet radiation is everywhere. You can be exposed to it while riding in your car, flying in an airplane, or sitting near a window at the office.  While some exposure to sunlight is good for you, overexposure has a cumulative effect that can lead to skin cancer. It goes to follow then, that you would want to avoid adding more radiation when it is not necessary. That is why some homeowners shun the idea of adding a skylight to their homes. They believe that this window on the roof can allow in more UV rays from the sun, thus adding to their risk or skin cancer or other problems, like faded furniture.

For most people, the amount of UV radiation that comes in through windows is relatively safe. However, for those with a history of, or predisposition to, skin cancer, more care must be taken. John Greenwood wrote an article, “Sun-Safe Homes,” for the Skin Cancer Foundation. It provides a lot of useful information for those in this position who are thinking about a skylight or new window installation at their homes or businesses.

As Greenwood explains, it is important to understand the different types of ultra violet rays that can affect your skin. UVB rays are the type that are used in tanning beds. They can lead to sunburn and are the more dangerous of the two types. Most glass, such as that used in the windows of your car, office, and home, is very good at blocking UVB rays, however it is mostly likely to block only about 50 percent of the UVA rays. UVA rays are more subtle than UVB. While you will not notice burning of your skin, they can still be absorbed by it and this increases your risk of certain kinds of skin cancer as well as aging of the skin. In fact, as Greenwood writes, “A 2010 study of indoor workers found that both men and women had significantly more wrinkles and sagging skin on the side of the face more regularly exposed to windows; skin aging was accelerated by five to seven years.” 

To protect yourself, Greenwood recommends that you apply to your windows a “special protective film that blocks more than 99 percent of all UV rays. The films come in varied tints, cutting down glare by more than half while allowing in 30-80 percent of visible light.  Window film will help prevent sunburns and skin cancer, as well as the brief daily UV exposure that accelerate skin aging over time. It can be a lifesaver for people with dangerous sun sensitivity disorders, for whom UV exposure is dangerous.”

There are additional steps you can take, particularly at the time of a new window or skylight installation. By choosing glass that offers this protection through glazing, you can rest assured that your windows are not letting in too many dangerous rays. Greenwood writes, “Several window film companies now carry The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, offering assurance that a sun-protective product is safe and effective.” You can learn more about The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation here.

If you are going to install a skylight, therefore, you may want to be sure that it offers a measure of defense against hazardous ultra violet rays though protective glazing.  That way, not only will you shield yourself from these potentially harmful rays, you will also help to keep your furniture, photographs, and artwork from fading under the intense light.

To learn more about UV rays, skylights, how to protect your skin through the use of window glazing, and other types for a UV-safe home, be sure to read the full informative article here.

If you are considering having new  or a  installed in your Chicagoland home, be sure to contact the experts at Baltic Home Improvements for a free consultation. We can discuss your options with you, including windows and skylights that offer both UVA and UVB protection, and we can provide you with an estimate for your installation job. Contact us today to learn why so many homeowner in the southwestern Chicago suburbs refer us to their friends and neighbors for exterior home improvement jobs.

Image source: Evgenii Kolotushchenko