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Sunrooms and vitamin D production

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 05, 2011 at 7:04 PM

It is my understanding that glass blocks virtually all UVB rays, which are necessary for the production of vitamin d in the skin. Suppose you wanted to build a sunroom or solarium onto your house for use during colder weather months. Does anyone know of a material other than glass that would allow for maximum vitamin D absorption? Or is there just no substitute for direct sunlight?

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Only issue I could see with this (in warmer climates) would be that it transmits heat from outside, inside, via sunlight. In Florida, this would wreak havoc on one's HVAC system.

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on February 05, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Here in Washington DC UVB radiation at solar noon on the Winter Solstice is about 25% that of the Summer Solstice. (110uw/cm2 compared to 450uw/cm2.) It's far from clear what the cutoff is but I would find it hard to believe that no Vitamin D whatsoever is produced at 110uw/cm2.

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2 Answers

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2
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 05, 2011
at 08:30 PM

The second product on this page http://www.acrylite.net/product/acrylite/en/products/sheet/uv-transmitting-sheet/pages/default.aspx may meet your needs.

"ACRYLITE?? OP-4 acrylic sheet offers superior resistance to chemical attack. ACRYLITE OP-4 sheet is ultra violet transmitting and warm to the touch. Its safety advantages, high-impact strength, light weight and easy fabrication make it ideal for tanning beds and zoo glazing."

Presumably what's good for zoo animals would be good for human animals. Too bad zookeepers may be more aware of the needs of their charges than we are of our own.

The company above was listed on this page (scroll down to Windows of Opportunity, and it looks like you may be able to get more info from the author.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Only issue I could see with this (in warmer climates) would be that it transmits heat from outside, inside, via sunlight. In Florida, this would wreak havoc on one's HVAC system.

1
94e4f96e9a053c72137f0528af721ae1

on February 05, 2011
at 08:16 PM

Depending on how far North or South you live then during winter you simply won't be able to produce vitamin D because UVB will be filtered out by the ozone layer. Also depending on the type of glass you use, not all UVB will be filtered. You can tell if you are getting vitamin D through the glass because if the skin start to turn pink then you know that not all the UVB is being filtered out. There is a substitute for direct sunlight though and that is a tanning bed.

Tanning lamps emit UVB and so the body is able to synthesise vitamin D in this manner as well. Just remember that if you are going to use a tanning bed for medicinal purposes then make sure you take step to avoid sunburn. There are a few basic rules to follow if you do want to use tanning beds though in order to ensure you are using them responsibly: - Start out on the smallest time possible, even if it is only 3 or 4 minutes. - Build up your time slowly, adding one minute at a time. - Don't go more often than once every two days. - If you are still red more than 24 hours later then you need to reduce your tanning time.

8e3782b68e033763485472f414f507a5

(2433)

on February 05, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Here in Washington DC UVB radiation at solar noon on the Winter Solstice is about 25% that of the Summer Solstice. (110uw/cm2 compared to 450uw/cm2.) It's far from clear what the cutoff is but I would find it hard to believe that no Vitamin D whatsoever is produced at 110uw/cm2.

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