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What do the sun’s ultraviolet rays do?

The sun emits ultraviolet rays along the entire spectrum, from visible light all the way to invisible X-rays. The lowest UV bands, UVA, UVB, and UVC, are considered the most often and are probably the most applicable to daily life. Almost all UVC rays are blocked by the same oxygen gas we survive on. Ozone blocks a significant amount of UVB but only very little of UVA light. All three can damage collagen fibers in the skin and thus cause aging. UVA and UVB can cause other molecules to change into dangerous forms, thus indirectly damaging DNA. UVB and UVC can directly damage DNA by affecting bonds between different molecules in the DNA's structure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.