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Ultraviolet Personal Safety & Equipment

UV warning (4,464 bytes) WARNING the ultraviolet
Lamps and Transilluminators we sell are powerful sources of ultraviolet wavelengths, some wavelengths are invisible to the human eye yet these electromagnetic waves bear high energy and other information. We have read or heard accounts by people who have attended mineral trade shows or other events where there are ultraviolet exhibits; they complain afterwards about suffering a mild 'sunburn' that only becomes painfully apparent after the distractions of the show are behind them.

So understand that any structure absorbing this light can be damaged by this energy, for example note how sunlight exposure tans the skin while prolonged exposure fades or breaks down materials. The photons of shorter wavelength such as 302nm for example, carry greater energy than 365nm therefore, these shorter wavelengths have the greater potential for causing biological damage. These wavelengths can penetrate the eye or skin cells and can produce heating and energy related biological changes that will modify or destroy cellular DNA; this is among the reasons why some UV light sources are used for germicidal sterilizing applications.

The basic philosophy should be to avoid pointing any unshielded ultraviolet emitting source in the direction of people. When in doubt about routine exposures you can buy a UVP Radiometer to detect and quantify the ultraviolet exposure, even to detect exposures as apparently innocuous as sunlight! But there will be instances when working close to our ultraviolet emitting sources when accidental or routine brief exposures may occur; it will be best to be prepared and protect the people in advance of such instances.

mineral sample under natural then SW UV light (104,838 bytes)
Above: You would never have known this was a Volcano without an ultraviolet light source!
Example of mineral fluorescence in a fantastic multicolored specimen. At left is sample in natural light, then exposed to UV-C.
Since fluorescence in itself is not dangerous this can be seen with the naked eye or photographed with a film or digital camera.
Exhibit courtesy of Company Seven (104,838 bytes). Click on image to see enlarged view (142,157 bytes).

The gift of the ultraviolet experience can be a wonderful way to start someone on the path to a new hobby or spark. It is particularly amazing to see how fast children can lean and progress, and all this with only a comparatively modest investment - after all, this only requires buying a UV lamp and finding or buying rocks. However, parents should use discretion when buying ultraviolet lamps or other devices for children; the parent must judge the maturity of the child and that of the child's friends before deciding to give the gift of the ultraviolet experience. Then the parent should take time to instruct the child never to look directly at any UV source. The child will progress faster and farther if the parent or helpful adult can share the hobby with him or her, while instilling good practices and disciplines of safety all along the way.

As amazing as it can be to explore the ultraviolet spectrum, this is not child’s play therefore:

UV safety spectacles (93,246 bytes)    it is vital that suitable eye safety protection be used when working with UV light sources UVP UV safety goggles (93,246 bytes)

For more information consult CSA Standard (CAN/CSA-Z94.3-02) Eye and Face Protectors.

UV safety eyewear assortment (76,463 bytes) For the protection of our clients who buy our ultraviolet lamps or transilluminators we offer personal safety equipment. It is a simple matter to provide suitable protection from ultraviolet sources, and not very expensive at all. The following describes each device we offer, and provides some guidance on how to choose them along with answers to common questions.

Right: UVP ultraviolet safety eyewear stocked by Company Seven - Face Shield, Spectacle, Goggle (76,463 bytes).

How Many Devices To Buy? Company Seven recommends our clients make it a protocol to order a minimum of two (2) UV Safety Goggles or two UV Saftey Spectacles with each order for any new ultraviolet emitting device. In this way if one safety device becomes scratched or lost then the other is in ready reserve. If you anticipate sharing access to the ultraviolet emitting device with others, including fellow employees or for demonstrations in a classroom environment then order the quantity of safety gear that you will expect to need, plus some extras too in order to plan for loss or damage.

Which Type: Face Shield, Goggle, Spectacle? the type of safety gear selected* is not as critical as the quantity, but this choice too is important. These are a 'one size fits all' in that most of these safety devices will fit onto most adults. We recommend you keep an assortment of safety gear since not all models will fit everyone, although one of these three is likely to fit anyone who can not use the other two devices.

Here are the pros and cons of each:

    UV Safety Face Shield: this lightweight device fits over the head and incorporates a padded adjustable-length band that encircles the head to keep it in place.

      Pro: the Face Shield protects not only the sensitive eyes but also provides protection against ultraviolet sources for the entire face. The face shield is good protection when cutting or grinding materials (mineral samples for example), or working with liquids that might spash. The face shield accommodates people wearing prescription glasses.

      Con: This is the most sophisticated and costly of the devices, and takes up the most storage space. But overall this is the most accommodating of the UV safety devices.

    UV Safety Goggles: this lightweight device slips over the head and incorporates an elastic strap band that encircles the sides and back of the head to keep the goggle in place.

      Pro: the goggle protects only the eyes from exposure. The goggle provides good protection of the eyes, and is a particularly good choice when the wearer is moving fast or must observe from peculiar attitudes: looking down, or otherwise tilting the head to a position where spectacles might fall off. The goggle can accommodate people wearing prescription glasses although the pressure from the goggles on the temples of the glasses might become uncomfortable for some. The cost of the goggle is moderate, less than the Face Shield but a but more than the cost of spectacles.

      Con: Goggles do not protect any area of the face that is not directly covered by the device; the nose and other areas of the face can be exposed to radiation. The goggle can accommodate people wearing prescription glasses although the pressure from the goggles on the temples of the glasses might become uncomfortable for some. When wearing these in sub-freezing environments the humidity from the eyes can fog the interior of the goggle.

    Safety Spectacle: this lightweight device slips on just like a regular pair of prescription glasses.

      Pro: the spectacle protects only the eyes from exposure. The spectacle provides good protection of the eyes, and is a particularly good choice when the wearers are casual observers who will not be tilting their head down to a position where spectacles might fall off. The spectacle can accommodate most people wearing prescription glasses since these spectacles are sized to encompass most typical prescription glasses. The spectacles are open and do not tend to fog in extreme climate environments. This is the least costly and most compact to store choice of UV Safety eyewear, so this can be a particularly cost efficient solution for large groups of users or in a classroom setting.

      Con: Spectacles do not protect any area of the face that is not directly covered by the device; the nose and other areas of the face can be exposed to radiation. The spectacles are open and do not protect the eyes from splashing liquids.

* Company Seven requires ultraviolet sources never be pointed in a direction to directly expose personnel. Furthermore, personnel must be completely covered when working in the proximity of ultraviolet sources of ≤302nm; this includes a Face Shield, gloves, long sleeve shirt, etc.

For an overview about working in the UV read our Ultraviolet Spectrum Primer, the illustrated article by Company Seven explaining the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum as it applies to photographing or imaging objects in the UV and about observing fluorescence, phosphorescence, and tenebrescence. The article explains the different portions UV spectrum including UV-A (long wave), UV-B (mid) and UV-C (short wave). We also host numerous articles and lamp users guides at our Notes & Interesting Articles page.

Ordering UVP Products

Company Seven stocks some of the more popular UVP lamp and cabinet products, and we accept orders for their other products by numerous means. You can also bring your UVP item to Company Seven for repair, or contact us to obtain user-serviceable items (bulbs, grids, etc.). The ways by which you may order products or parts are outlined at , or click here to read that page now.

Company Seven has not become convinced that on-line ordering is always beneficial for the customer, particularly when making a more complicated choice. While on-line ordering certainly is convenient and time effective for the merchant since they do not have to spend time with the customer, the customer is not always making the best choices when buying solely after reading what may be "propaganda" on line. The best ways to make the better choices are to either visit our showroom, or telephone 301-953-2000. This way you can obtain prompt and competent concise assistance which will address your particular needs and concerns.


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