Premature skin aging and skin cancer are two dangers of excessive exposure to sunlight, and the risks don’t go away when we’re indoors. Many people believe that window glass blocks the ultraviolet rays in natural light that damage our skin, but in fact we aren’t safe from harmful light indoors. To fully protect your family, you should install windows that block all ultraviolet light.
The two types of ultraviolet light that damage our skin cells are called UVA and UVB. Both types of UV light are harmful, and regular glass blocks UVB rays only. The average house window allows around 50 percent of UVA light to penetrate into the home, and car windows allow about 60 percent UVA light through, even on cloudy days.
Exposure to UVA light results in prematurely aged skin and an increased risk of skin cancer. The effects of UVA are particularly noticeable on the faces of people who regularly sit next to a window while doing their jobs, such as truck drivers and shop workers. Researchers have found that the side facing the window ages faster, accelerating aging from five to seven years.
Even more seriously, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, sometimes triggering the development of melanomas and basal cell carcinomas. We can protect ourselves from UVA while outside by applying sunscreen, covering up and wearing a hat, but we also require protection inside our homes.
Protecting Your Family and Your Home
Special coatings on glass screen out UVA light, cutting down the percentage that filters through and working like a sunscreen for your home. As well as reducing the health risks, the coatings also help prevent fading in rugs and furnishings.
Energy Star sets standards and awards certificates for glass that provides the ultraviolet screening effect without noticeably reducing visible light. Some glass products exceed Energy Star standards, like Cardinal LoE3 -366, which North Georgia Replacement Windows recommends for use in Infinity from Marvin fiberglass windows. Cardinal LoE3 -366 includes three layers of silver, which block 95 percent of ultraviolet rays and reflect heat while allowing desirable light into your home.
Sunlight streaming into your home is a pleasant sight, but the UVA rays it contains are harmful. To protect your family from the risks of skin cancer and prematurely aged skin, your windows should block all ultraviolet light. Check that the windows you install in your home have the Energy Star stamp of approval for your family’s health and your peace of mind.
To find out more about windows that prevent UVA light from penetrating your home, contact North Georgia Replacement Windows.