UV or ultraviolet lamps are used in biological safety cabinets, light boxes, and cross linkers in many University laboratories and in some patient care rooms. UV radiation is that radiation just outside the visible range, or under 400 nanometers (nm). Germicidal lamps emit radiation almost exclusively in the far-UV range of 254 nm, and are commonly used in Laminar Air Flow hoods or biological safety cabinets and should be treated with extreme caution.
Adapted from the California Campus Environmental Health & Safety Association Winter 1995 Newsletter What You Should Know About UV Light. Spectronics Corporation has introduced the versatile and very affordable OPTI-LUX™ 365 Series UV-A (365 nm) LED inspection lamps, which are perfect for a wide variety of NDT inspection applications.
Figure caption: Ultraviolet spectrum of our hydrogen flow lamp in the range of 100 to 200 nm. One of the problems in working with UV radiation is that the symptoms of overexposure are not immediately felt so that persons exposed do not realize the hazard until after the damage is done.
Severe skin burns can happen in a very short time, especially under your chin (where most people forget to cover).

However, the UV light levels around some UV equipment greatly exceeds the levels found in nature.
The danger to the eye is enhanced by the fact that light can enter from all angles around the eye and not only in the direction you are looking. Full-face shields are really the only appropriate protection when working with UV light boxes for more than a few seconds. The lid with its quartz window is clamped onto the sample tray by two A? turn quick-release fasteners and a gas-tight seal is achieved. High-intensity and standard-intensity versions are available, each with or without an internal black light filter.
UV spectroscopy in this range is usually performed at synchrotron facilities, which are only accesible for a reduced amount of time, it was never performed using a standard vacuum-UV lamp. Most of these instruments are stationary, but there are a few hand held types that carry the same hazards as the stationary models. The lens can also be damaged, but since the cornea acts as a filter, the chances are reduced.

They come complete with a certificate of compliance for wavelength and output measurements. We have the advantage of performing these experiments in our laboratory in a everyday basis, where we can measure accurately the ice thickness of the sample by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in transmittance, allowing a more accurate determination of the UV absorption cross section of the ice. Nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) which has been stained with the chemical Ethidium Bromide, lights up when exposed to UV light.
This should not lessen the concern over lens damage however, because cataracts are the direct result of lens damage. The long-term risk for large cumulative exposure includes premature aging of the skin and even skin cancer.

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