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How does sunlight passing through glass affect its health benefit?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 26, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I was driving on a sunny afternoon when I starting wondering about this.

My feeling is that glass may filter out key components of sunlight that would otherwise make it optimal for vitamin D production among other physiological effects. Perhaps this filtering might even make the rays harmful.

EDIT: Title clarity.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 26, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Right on, be wary though, glass/plexiglass does absorb UV, but not all. It's still possible to get UV burns through such protection.

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2 Answers

1
7d5faecbdf9bb7987013008c6bf6b307

(130)

on May 26, 2012
at 06:40 PM

It's the UV light in sunlight that causes Vitamin D production. So, since glass filters (most) UV, then it hampers Vitamin D production. I can't imagine that subtracting UV from sunlight would make the rays harmful, when in fact it's the UV that causes sunburn and skin damage upon extended exposure in the first place. It's a little more complicated because of UVA vs. UVB, but that's a general overview.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 26, 2012
at 08:13 PM

Right on, be wary though, glass/plexiglass does absorb UV, but not all. It's still possible to get UV burns through such protection.

0
8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on May 26, 2012
at 08:23 PM

I believe some glass blocks all UV, and some blocks only UVB. I don't know which is more common, but I consider the UVB-only blocking glass to be dangerous. It seems like a good bet that UVA and UVB work together within the skin, so only exposing yourself to one or the other sounds like a bad idea to me.

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