- UVA (320 to 400 nanometers). This radiation has less energy than UVB, but can penetrate to deep layers of the skin. Here, it affects elastin which when damaged causes skin sag; or, commonly known as winkles. UVA also affects the melanocytes (pigment) and the immune system. Free radicals are increased throughout all this, causing damage. This form of ultraviolet radiation generates melanomas.
- UVB (281 to 289 nanometers) that is absorbed by DNA and proteins and penetrates less. It is the cause of tanning and causes the reaction between cholesterol and sunlight to begin to form the end product of 1,25–dihydroxycholecalciferol, the active hormone of Vitamin D3. Over a long period time of nonsensible sunning, nonmelanoma skin cancer can be generated from UVB.
- UVC (200 to 280 nanometers) is germicidal at 253.7nm wavelength against microbial effects in water, on surfaces, and in the air.
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