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Safety Guideline
Ultra-Violet Light
1. The biological effects of exposure to UV radiation are dependent on the wavelength of the
radiation. As the penetration of UV radiation is small, the effects are limited to the eyes
and skin.
2. The principle effect of excessive exposure is kerato-conjunctivitis which is more
commonly known as “snow-blindness”. The symptoms are similar to that resulting from
grit in the eyes and an aversion to bright light. The cornea and conjunctiva show
a) When using UV irradiation to examine agarose and acrylamide gels take care not to
expose the eyes to direct light or any reflection of it. Wear full face masks provided
which absorb UV light.
3. The other principle source of UV radiation are the germicidal UV lamps fitted to class II
and laminar flow hoods. Be sure that the protective Perspex covers are in place before
turning these lamps on.
4. Other sources of UV light to be aware of are the special bulbs used in
spectrophotometers, fluorometers and electrical arcs.
5. The hazard from ozone generated by UV lights can be minimised by ensuring that there is
adequate ventilation.
Reviewed June 2004