How do fluorescent lights work?

1.      A hollow glass tube is coated on the inside with different colored phosphors

2.      At either end of the tube is an electrode (anode and cathode)

3.      Sealed in the center of the glass tube is a small amount of mercury vapor

4.      As an electric arc travels through the mercury vapor, it causes a reaction that creates UV radiation

5.      The UV rays strike the phosphors coating the inside of the lamp tube

6.      The phosphors then fluoresce, producing fluorescent visible light

UV Rules to Remember: UVA "A"ges the skin; UVB "B"urns the skin.

UVB is perhaps the better known UV ray. UVB rays vary throughout the day, and are at their highest from 10am to 2pm. They are the UV rays that cause sunburns and tanning. UVB affects the epidermis layer and can quickly cause damage to the skin's surface. Because UVA is capable of penetrating deeper into the skin, it affects the dermis layer and causes photo-aging. Its effects are more long term, and exposure to UVA light can build with time. Unlike UVB, UVA rays are constant throughout the day and both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer.


The UV radiation found in fluorescent lighting is present in two forms: UVB (280-320 nanometers [nm]) and UVA (320 to 400 nm). UV radiation has long been known to cause a myriad of health problems. Some sources indicate that fluorescent lights emit more UVB than the sun.  In the 1992 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology, it was found that fluorescent lights emit "10-30 times" more UVB radiation than the sun does. UVB radiation has been found to be carcinogenic (cancer causing). 

UV radiation exposure is known to cause:

Non-melanoma and melanoma cancers

Premature aging (freckling, fine wrinkling, and dilatation of capillaries)

Early cataract formation

Immune system damage

Lupus erythematosus (Lupus) flare-ups (lupus facilitators report that some lupus sufferers, after sitting under fluorescent lighting for just 20-30 minutes, collapse in their chairs)

People who work in the grocery, restaurant, food processing and deli industry know that food that remains under fluorescent lighting for a short time spoils quickly. As a matter of fact, the closer it is to the bulb, the faster the food spoils. In 1997, Cornell University studies found that 50% of vitamin A and riboflavin in milk may be lost after only 24 hours of fluorescent light exposure.

NaturaLux™ and DirectaLux™ Filters absorb 100% of the harmful UV rays up to 380nm (that means all UVB and almost all of the UVA is absorbed); 81-99% of the UVA found between 380-390nm and 50-80% of UVA found between 390-400nm.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself, your family, your employees, and your customers is to create a UV-Safe environment. Remember, the body does not know the difference between solar UV radiation and the UV radiation emitted by artificial light sources. UV radiation energy accumulates in your body over your entire lifetime. The more exposure, the more potential damage it will inflict.

Protect Yourself NOW with NaturaLux™ Filters

Copyright © 1999-2018 Kevin A. Kirschner All rights reserved

[Previous] [Home]   [Next]