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Short Wave UV dangers

  1. May 17, 2005 #1

    Bea

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    I am about to purchase a devise to use for the detection of tin coating on window glass. I am a glass artist who fuses glass in a kiln. I know that, in the manufacturing process of the window glass, a tin coating is applied to one side . For my work, I need to know which is the tin coated side. This would be the unusable side. Glassiers do not know this, nor do they need to know. The only test around seems to be this device in which you aim a Shot Wave UV light onto the glass which is placed behind the light. The presence of tin will cause that side of the glass to glow. ***MY conern is the dangers, if any, to my eyes, skin etc. when using the UV light, i.e simply being in the presence of the light... though it will not be directed toward me.

    Thanks,
    Bea
     
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  3. May 17, 2005 #2

    Monique

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    That sounds interesting, do all windows have a coating of tin? I guess only float glass does, is this the main type of glass used in windows?

    In the lab we use longwave UV (UVA 315-400 nm) to detect DNA by EtBr staining. Shortwave UV light (UVC 180-280 nm) is more dangerous, since it is more energetic.

    You should always wear UV safety goggles when handling the device, so that your eyes are protected from exposure. Looking directly into a shortwave light for an extended period of time can certainly cause temporary damage to your eyes.
    I'm not sure what the intensity of the UV lamp is and how long you will be exposing yourself to it, I think it will be hard to get enough exposure to damage skin ('sunburn').
     
  4. May 17, 2005 #3

    DocToxyn

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    I am assuming you are doing someting similar to this process (find link to "ID of Air/Tin side of glass" about 1/2 way down page on the left, I couldn't directly link for some reason).

    This uses a ~250 nM UV lamp, which gets used regularly in many science applications. Our safety measures consist of, at a minimum, UV resistant goggles, and preferably a UV resistant full face shield. This may be worth the money as it could serve double duty for other safety applications in your art work. As far as use of these lamps is concerned, the lamp is never directed toward the face. Since you are only looking for UV induced fluorescence, this should not be a problem. For skin protection, you could wear gloves and normal clothing, but you most likely will not be exposed for long periods of time and for your application you may not even need your hands near the glass anyway. If you want more advice or a second opinion, give the company from the above link a call. They are friendly and should be able to hlep you out (I don't work for them :biggrin: ).
     
  5. May 18, 2005 #4

    Bea

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    Sortwave UV Dangers

    Thank you Monique and DocToxyn for your input to my query.

    The link DocToxyn directed me to is a company called Ultra-Violet Products which manufactures various devices for tin detection and mainly used for automotive and architectural glass. I called the company. The responder suggested that the devise I mentioned in my original query to Physics Forum seemed adequate for my needs as a hobbyist because of its quick, short term per piece of float glass I test as I buy it. I was mainly warned NOT to look at the light and that I would probably not need protective eyeware (which they also sell.) as long as I am CAREFUL. I'd guess that since the device is placed directly against the glass and I view it thru a small viewing filter, that would makes it safe. I plan to be careful when I use this "made for hobbyist" device.

    Thanks again
    Bea
     
  6. May 18, 2005 #5

    Monique

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    It good you called them :) I too think you will be safe as long as you don't look directly in the lamp, afterall, UV lamps are found at almost every cash register for checking counterfeit money (although I'm not sure in what UV range those are).
     
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