UV rays and Water
Name: Terry R.
Date: Sunday, May 05, 2002
Can UV rays penetrate water? For example: Standing waist
deep in a pool of water, will my legs be protected as my upper body burns?
Water does scatter U.V. radiation, and the surface of the water will
reflect a part of incident U.V. radiation so your legs are more protected.
Sunlight's UV component will not penetrate water very far. Indeed, if
overexposed, the parts of you that are above water will burn -- even faster
than if you were on dry land because the surface of the water reflects the
radiation. As a result, you get hit with the direct and well as the
U.V. radiation (depending upon the wavelength) penetrates water to some
extent, but not far, because various components in the water absorb the U.V.
radiation, and in addition water scatters the U.V. radiation. So, YES, your
exposed upper body will burn more quickly than your legs submerged in water.
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