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Penetrating ability of electromagnetic radiation

Different kinds of electromagnetic radiation have different penetrabilities. For example, if we take the human body as the object. Infrared light is emitted by the human body. Visible light is reflected off the surface of the human body, ultra-violet light (from sunlight) damages the skin, but X-rays are able to penetrate the skin and bone and allow for pictures of the inside of the human body to be taken.

If we compare the energy of visible light to the energy of X-rays, we find that X-rays have a much higher energy. Usually, kinds of electromagnetic radiation with higher energy have higher penetrabilities than those with low energies.

Certain kinds of electromagnetic radiation such as ultra-violet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays are very dangerous. Radiation such as these are called ionising radiation. Ionising radiation transfers energy as it passes through matter, breaking molecular bonds and creating ions.

Excessive exposure to radiation, including sunlight, X-rays and all nuclear radiation, can cause destruction of biological tissue.

Ultraviolet(uv) radiation and the skin

UVA and UVB are different ranges of frequencies for ultraviolet (UV) light. UVA and UVB can damage collagen fibres which results in the speeding up skin aging. In general, UVA is the least harmful, but it can contribute to the aging of skin, DNA damage and possibly skin cancer. It penetrates deeply and does not cause sunburn. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin (erythema) it cannot be measured in the SPF testing. There is no good clinical measurement of the blocking of UVA radiation, but it is important that sunscreen block both UVA and UVB.

UVB light can cause skin cancer. The radiation excites DNA molecules in skin cells, resulting in possible mutations, which can cause cancer. This cancer connection is one reason for concern about ozone depletion and the ozone hole.

As a defense against UV radiation, the body tans when exposed to moderate (depending on skin type) levels of radiation by releasing the brown pigment melanin. This helps to block UV penetration and prevent damage to the vulnerable skin tissues deeper down. Suntan lotion, often referred to as sunblock or sunscreen, partly blocks UV and is widely available. Most of these products contain an SPF rating that describes the amount of protection given. This protection, however, applies only to UVB rays responsible for sunburn and not to UVA rays that penetrate more deeply into the skin and may also be responsible for causing cancer and wrinkles. Some sunscreen lotion now includes compounds such as titanium dioxide which helps protect against UVA rays. Other UVA blocking compounds found in sunscreen include zinc oxide and avobenzone.

What makes a good sunscreen?

  • UVB protection: Padimate O, Homosalate, Octisalate (octyl salicylate), Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
  • UVA protection: Avobenzone
  • UVA/UVB protection: Octocrylene, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl (ecamsule)

Questions & Answers

25 element of physics
musah Reply
an object will remain at rest or move at a constant velocity unless acted upon a net force
Lebogang Reply
thank you
Thabiso
law of inertia
Joan
an object resisting the change in velocity.
Thabiso
What is a molecule
Thabiso Reply
a molecule is a simplest structure unite of an elements
Else
thank you
Thabiso
Plz remind me the 1st Newton's law
Thabiso
Define the term functinal group of an organic compound
Kamvelihle Reply
a single atom or a group of atoms which is responsible for the property and function of an organic compound
Shandre
thanks😊
Kamvelihle
What's the relationship between intensity and the current?
Lufuno Reply
yu are Spi.ke spanish hola ele
Rolamf
cómo se llama el video donde disquete salgo yo
Rolamf
The intensity doesn't effect the current.
Mosa
what does the word emitted mean?
Mwinga Reply
to be ejected or released
Khathutshelo
Ok thanks
Mwinga
Released
Mosa
what are the hooke laws
Tyriek Reply
what's that
Mosa
what do really asked in exam
Leiyo Reply
questions
Kamvelihle
lmaooo
itsssjust
hi please help me how to balance redox reactions?
Brian Reply
Which equation do u wanna balance
Rifumo
i tried to write it but my phone just can't write it Cr2 O72-(aq) + H2S (aq) Cr3 (aq) + S(s)
Brian
show is the equation
Pride
us
Pride
hello. what is the difference between a primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol
Thokozani Reply
primary the C=bonded to 1 Carbon atom.... secondary=bonded to 2 carbon atoms tertiary=bonded to 3 carbon atoms
Christina
I hope you're answered
Christina
thanks Christina
Baningi
My pleasure
Christina
Thank you Christina. This is very helpful 😀👍👍💯
Thokozani
💯💯
Thokozani
Anytime Thokozani
Christina
How to calculate pH?
Thabo
thank you guys i didn't know about the primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols
Brian
thank you Christina
Brian
Hey guys which topic does AC nd DC generator falls
Phumelele
electrodynamics
Christina
thank you
Phumelele
can somebody help me with functional isomers
Baningi Reply
function isomer has the same molecular formula but different functional group
Thokozani
what's momentum
Luvelo Reply
the product of an objects mass times velocity. it is mainly prevalent in collisions.
tyrique
momentum
Sesethu
in order to produce an interference pattern, the waves used must be what?
Methane contains C and H. This compound is
Juan Reply
ketones's functional group
Moloi Reply
Why does the carboxyl group have acidc properties?
Evi Reply
carboxylic acids
tyrique

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
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