Exposure box light harmful?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by mark, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    I was describing the exposure box to my wife and she asked a question I could not answer.

    She wants to know if the amount of UV put out by the box can be damaging to our kids' eyes.

    I know my 1000watt HID light is and that is why i never set it up at home. My new office has room for the light box and a sink so I could do my printing here after hours. But I really wanted to do it at home, and get my 4 year old involved.

    My box will have a door and I am smart enough to unplug it when not in use.

    Anyone have some thoughts, that might ease her concern?
     
  2. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    It depends on the type of bulbs you have. The UVB and UVC bulbs are the more hazardous ones. If you use UVA bulbs, with proper precautions you should be ok.

    Take a look at this link to get all of the technical stuff.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet
     
  3. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Mark,

    ALL UV light is harmful, but the UV-A less so than the -B or -C. However, I would not work around an exposure unit that leaks light without proper eye protection. If you have a good sealed unit, they you probabla don't need to worry about it, but if you are going to be doing dodging and burning, you should be wearing eye protection and possibly skin protection, depending on the lamps you are using.

    Eye damage is cumulative, so a lettle here and there is not going to be noticeable, but if you spend a lot of time around UV light, it will accumulate into potential problems later in life. That's not a tradeoff I'm willing to take, especially when good UV protection costs about $10 at the local home center.


    ---Michael
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Most of the tubes used in contact printing boxes, such as BL, BLB, SA, etc. put out most of their radiation in the UVA, which is much less harmful than UVB and UVC. It is potentially harmful to your eyes if you look right at the light, depending on amount of exposure of course. There are many options to reduce or eliminate the danger. Most printing units are constructed so that the light does not get out except at the point where you insert the frame, and this area can be easily baffled. You might also want to consider buying a few pairs of UV sunglasses and make sure the 4 year old puts them on when you are exposing prints.

    Just take reasonable precautions and there should not be a problem.

    Sandy King
     
  5. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I got my boy started by doing cyanotypes in the sun. Easy and fun. He is 10 now, we have been doing this for about 5-6 years. He doesnt have much interest in the big exposure unit I have down stairs, but he likes working out in the sun.
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    Thanks folks.

    Robert,
    Nate is a gadget head, like his dad. The box will be a lot of fun for him. At the beginning of the summer he did not want to plant anything in the garden outside, he wanted me to set up my classroom hydroponics gardens at the house. He said dirt was boring, hydroponics was cool. :smile: