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Peter Lynch

Actual dangers of UV cabinet on health (not counting eyes)

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I am trying to decide if it is worth building a small room (closet) in my shop to house my UV box.  My shop is a one room building measuring 20 x 30 and I have no separate room for UV box as many suggest is prudent.  For the past number of years I have just had the box in the same "room" that I work in.  I have an automatic switch on the door, which shuts off the lights when it opens. The concern is over the Ozone and other byproducts the box produces.  I use the box for tanning wood as well as varnish drying, so the bulbs have both A and B radiation and the cabinet if often running. There seems conflicting opinions on the actual dangers of this (vs theoretical dangers) .  After reading Koen Paddings book in recent months, which talks about the concerns of breathing in what the box emits) I am considering the benefits of taking this more seriously and am thinking of building a small closet that is vented to the outside via a window or fan, for my UV cabinet.   I also would need to consider air flow through the closet /box to keep the oxygen level up as well.

 

Any idea would be appreciated

 

 

-Peter

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Another perspective is to try to calibrate the 'risks' against other known ones, eg. cigarette smoking, driving a car, flying in a plane etc.

 

Books that purport to describe risk do a very poor job in this respect, and this includes Padding's book and the myriads of faddish cook books that are selling the antidotes to various eating habits.

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a uv box using conventional tubes doesn't produce any ozone.

I've occasionally noticed a distinct smell coming from the lightbox. Any ideas what it may be?

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I've occasionally noticed a distinct smell coming from the lightbox. Any ideas what it may be?

In Paddings book he writes that even UV B produces ozone and that the combination of this with the nitrogen in the air form nitrus oxygen (then goes on to describe how theses cause damage to nervous and respiratory system).  This was what I was feeding my concerns.  ti sound like the people so far see this as more of a theoretical concern that is not documented scientifically......

 

I too smell something, especially in the morning after the box has been running all night..... it seems more then just the smell of the result of drying varnihs, it has an "electric" smell to it (at least to my way of interpreting it)

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I'm finding this interesting - because I just had to get into the whole lighting thing for my baby tortoise, who needs UVB lighting to prevent metabolic bone disease (MBD).

 

Apparently the CF UVB bulbs 'burn' the eyes of the tortoises.  The mercury vapour (UVB and heat) bulbs do not.  So there are differences even between UVB bulb types.

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In Paddings book he writes that even UV B produces ozone and that the combination of this with the nitrogen in the air form nitrus oxygen (then goes on to describe how theses cause damage to nervous and respiratory system).  This was what I was feeding my concerns.  ti sound like the people so far see this as more of a theoretical concern that is not documented scientifically......

 

I too smell something, especially in the morning after the box has been running all night..... it seems more then just the smell of the result of drying varnihs, it has an "electric" smell to it (at least to my way of interpreting it)

 

 

At least the common "germicidal lamps" do not produce ozone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germicidal_lamp#Ozone_production

 

NOx seems to interact with ozone in various ways, either facilitating or preventing  the formation of ozone: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx or http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ChemistrySunlight/chemistry_sunlight3.php.

 

But I would be highly surprised if ozone could split the stable bond between the nitrogen atoms and form NO. For that you would need a welding arc.

 

Please correct me if I am wrong ; I am here to learn.

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If you're worried about it, you don't need to build a whole new closet. You just want it to ventilate to the outside of the building. Install a dryer vent on the outside wall near your UV box, and use a small fan and hose to exhaust out through the vent.

http://www.amazon.com/National-Brand-Alternative-531178-Super-Flex/dp/B00PM8HEEK

 

http://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-AXIAL-Muffin-Cooling/dp/B009OWVUJ0

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Are you guys using ammoniated wood? That can produce nitric oxides with UV B, I believe. Also. is there any electrical arcing in your lamp fixtures? Then, are your fixtures overheating to give off fumes from the insulators. 

 

To make ozone you need UV C lamps - radiation below 260 nm. My cabinet has 110 watts of UV B lamps with a fan exhausting to the room and there are no emission problems. 

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I too have my 80W UVB box vented into the shop and have never noticed any ozone smell, just some vapors from the varnish.  Our electrostatic copy machine gives off a very noticeable ozone smell.

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The last time I turned my blacklights on to dry something they produced a very noticeable ozone smell. I blamed the power supplies, not the bulbs, but I have no proof that is where the smell was actually produced. I just sniffed around and the smell was strongest at the power supplies.

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Im using BLB 350s. Used for both tanning and drying varnish. Certainly some sort of smell which is noticeable just when tanning. Reminds me of old high voltage TV line output transformers in which the insulation had broken down. I only really notice it when I switch off and open the box door. Given that the transformers are mounted externally I suspect it is coming from the tubes.

These are the same tubes that are used to entice insects to their fate in food establishments/supermarkets. These are usually located in a relatively large open area though.

A quick email to the tech department of the tube manufacturers or the makers of those insect zappers should clarify matters. They are usually pretty forthcoming with safety information and best practice.

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I've never understood all the hype around UV boxes. I only use UV until the varnish is tack free so it wont attract dust. After that point i just tick the violin in a sunny window and let nature take is course.

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Hi Peter, nice website. 

Depends what you call an 'Actual' danger. 
Padding states that the UVA bulbs are the safest of the ones available which get the job done. 
He also says that they emit free radicals, but measuring than would be hard for most of us. 
I have 20 UVA bulbs wall mounted in the corner of a small room, they do the job very well. 

Another factor is cost, the best Philips bulbs with built in back reflectors aren't cheap
and their optimum light output fades after a few months of constant use, even though they continue to light up. 

Spirit varnishing is basically much easier and players really don't know the difference. 

Mike,
'is there any electrical arcing in your lamp fixtures? Then, are your fixtures overheating to give off fumes from the insulators.'
Yes I have lots of fittings wired up on a chain, they work but the old east German ones I pulled out of a skip get quite hot.  
Think it's something to do with the type of condensers ? 

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