What Are Reptile UV Lights?

What Are Reptile UV Lights

Did you know that Reptiles can actually see UV radiation? The fact that this is true is a matter of debate. But if you own a reptilian pet such as a turtle, then you surely know that you need reptile light to keep your reptile healthy and alive.

Now, the question is, “Are reptile UV lights safe for humans?” The truth is that reptiles are more equipped to deal with all types of hazards that people aren’t equipped for– sunlight, pollution, heat, dust, dirt, and so on. And so, what is safe for reptiles might not be safe for humans.

In this article, we’ll discuss the safety of reptile UV lights and whether or not they are as effective as people think they are.

What Are Reptile UV Lights?

Typically, a wild reptile gets exposed to UV rays as it basks in the sunlight for many hours during the daytime. These UV rays are essential for keeping their skin healthy and for producing vitamin D3. When the reptile is not exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, it is unable to produce this essential vitamin and is more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

This is why zookeepers and pet owners use artificial UV lights to provide the correct wavelengths for the reptiles to absorb the UV rays. The problem with artificial UV lights is that they are not as safe as they are advertised.

What Are Reptile UV Lights?

Are reptile UV lights safe for humans?

The answer is no, they are not safe for humans. But the question is, can the UV light released from a reptile UV lamp be dangerous enough to cause damage? In general, no, it’s unlikely that the UV released from a reptile UV light can cause significant damage to a human’s skin. It can also cause premature aging in humans.

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll get harmed by the reptile UV light if you’re careful enough, there is still a chance of that happening.

Here are the risks associated with using reptile UV bulbs:

(1)  Skin & Eye Damage

The biggest risks that are associated with UV emitting lights are skin damage (sunburn and cancer) and damage to the eyes (photo-keratoconjunctivitis). In fact, most indoor reptile owners have a tendency to over-expose their reptiles to UV light (which can cause eye damage).

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(2)  Harm to a Person’s Overall Health

The reptile’s skin and eyes could get damaged due to the constant exposure to concentrated UV rays. And if a person gets too close to the UV lights, that could have serious effects on their health! There are many types of UV lamps available today, which include UVA, UVB, UVC, etc.

UVB and UVC are especially harmful for humans.

(3)  Risk of Cancer

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can also cause burns on humans. Constant exposure to UV rays may even lead to skin cancer. But that mostly depends on the intensity of UV rays that a human is exposed to and the period of time he/she gets exposed to it.

The more exposure you have to UV radiation, the more the risk that your skin is going to get burned and your eyes are going to get damaged.

Why are Reptile UV Lights Harmful to Humans?

In theory, all types of UV rays are deadly to humans. But particularly. UVB and UVC rays are more harmful than UVA. So, you should check which type of lamp emits before purchasing it.

However, when you are exposed to high levels of UV radiation, you are also putting your health at risk. And this occurs when the UV light emitted by the lamp has a shorter wavelength than what is normally emitted from the sun.

This happens when the wrong type of glass/phosphor gets used in the white coating of the lamp. So, make sure that you buy the UV light from a reputed brand.

Furthermore, you can avoid the adverse effects of overexposure to UV radiation from reptile UV lights, just by maintaining your distance from the lamp while it’s turned on. Also, you should make sure that the reptile does not get exposed to UV rays for extended periods.

Can you get a tan from a reptile lamp?

Since we are talking about UV radiation, it’s natural to assume that a reptile lamp is capable of causing your skin to tan. We know that reptile bulbs discharge visible light as well as UVA and UVB rays (sometimes UVC). The primary purpose of the UV rays is to provide disinfection to the skin of the reptiles.

And so, it’s not a good idea to use a reptile lamp for tanning purposes. Such a bulb is not suitable for tanning. It can also cause an allergic reaction in some people and it has a high probability of damaging the skin.

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Is it safe to leave a reptile heat lamp on all day?

No, it’s not safe to leave a reptile heat lamp on all throughout the day. There is a high chance of the bulb overheating and damaging the skin of your reptile. Moreover, it’s also risky as it could potentially lead to accidents. In other words, keep it turned off for at least a few hours during the day.

This will not only work as a safety mechanism, but also as a method of prolonging the lifespan of your UV reptile bulb.

Are Commercially Available Reptile Lights Good for Animal but Bad for Handler?

Typically, Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emitting light sources (incandescent, fluorescent; sometimes both) are used to supportthe metabolic needs of reptilian pets. Therefore, they are designed to provide the thermal conditions necessary for a reptile. Although reptile heat lamps use UV light sources, their design is similar to that of a regular incandescent bulb.

They offer an adequate range of wavelengths and they can emit a broad spectrum of UVR, with more intensity at lower wavelengths.

However, because they are produced UVR that fell on a range that was toxic to humans, we recommend you do not use these lamps unless you’re absolutely sure of their safety.

Final Thoughts

To the average pet owners, using reptile lights may seem like a necessary thing to do. They won’t take the safety of these lights into account. But, you’re not like them, are you?

You’re concerned about your safety, and that’s why you decided to read this article. But the problem is that there just isn’t a straightforward answer to the question, “Are reptile UV lights safe for humans?”

But we can say this, if you keep your distance from it, it won’t affect you in any way. And if you’re exposed to this light for too long, then it’ll surely have adverse effects on your body.

Resources: https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/home-habitat/reptile-uvb-light-guide.html

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