As the earth’s ozone layer becomes more depleted, the inevitable result is more of the sun’s UV rays bombarding the planet, making everyone more susceptible to cataracts, impaired immune systems, and skin cancer.
Why Block UV Light With Windows? UV Rays Cause Skin Cancer
The most common form of cancer in the US and worldwide is skin cancer. According to skincancer.org, one in five Americans develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Shockingly, more than two people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour. If you like sunbathing, think about this: Having five or more sunburns during your lifetime doubles your risk of melanoma.
What causes skin cancer is, obviously, exposure to the sun. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. While most UV rays come from the sun, many can come from indoor tanning beds and sun lamps.
UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and during summer months. People living at higher elevations are subject to a greater bombardment in UV rays, which can get to the earth’s surface even on cloudy days. UV rays bounce off reflective surfaces like water, snow, sand and pavement, which can lead to increased exposure. Also, the farther away you are from the equator, UV exposure goes down.
UV rays come in three kinds, UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B are associated with sunburns and tanning. Scientists believe UV-A also suppresses the immune system, while UV-C, although produced by the sun, does not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere.
Read the American Cancer Society’s informative article for pointers on protecting yourself from ultraviolet rays.
Do Home Windows Block UV Rays? (Spoiler Alert: Yes and No)
One way to avoid exposure to UV rays is simply to stay indoors. However, you can run but you cannot hide from the dangers of UV rays through uncoated windows. While almost 100% of UV-B and UV-C light is blocked by standard window glass, UV-A rays can penetrate your home through clear, unshielded windows.
So, enjoying that late morning sunshine through your kitchen window also exposes you to harmful UV-A rays. UV rays through windows can cause increased skin freckling and sensitivity to sunlight and rashes like photodermatitis.
Blocking UV Rays on Windows
Do originally installed home windows block UV rays?
The answer is yes – if solar window film is added to the interior of your windows, those windows block UV light. Window panels can be affixed on the inside of the home or apartment. The panels have the added advantage of keeping the house cooler by reflecting heat as well as soundproofing the home.
Do Window Screens Block UV Rays?
Window screen enclosures are available with some degree of protection against harmful UV rays. They also have the advantage of keeping the home cooler in hot weather.
Their main disadvantage is that window screens block about 30% of the light coming in and need to be removed during the cold months.
Sun & Sound Windows Offer Year-Round UV Protection and Soundproofing
UV rays bombarding your home through unprotected windows also fade carpets and furniture. Noise pollution can penetrate even double-glazed windows because of air gaps. The solution to both problems is Sun & Sound Window inserts.
So to answer the question, do windows block UV rays, the answer is yes, if those windows are custom fitted with Sun & Sound window inserts. With our window inserts, you can block UV rays, plus save up to 50% of your home energy costs. We use laminated glass specially engineered rather than acrylic for even more soundproofing power.
For city apartment residents, the Sun & Sound buy-back program allows customers to install the inserts and use them for the duration of the apartment lease with up to a 50% rebate of the full price when occupancy ends.
Want windows that block UV light? Talk to us about installing window inserts that block UV light and high and low-pitched noise.