Infrared radiation and its effect on humans
All the variety of radiation emanating from the Sun has a unified nature - these are electromagnetic waves. Variety in their properties is caused by differences in wavelength. The visible part of the spectrum of solar radiation begins with the shortest - violet waves (0.38 μm) and ends with the longest wavelengths (0.76 μm) that the human eye perceives as red.
The German scientist Herschel discovered in 1800, behind the red part of the spectrum, some invisible rays, causing a significant increase in the temperature of the thermometer used for research. This radiation was called - infrared.
What is the effect of infrared radiation on the human body? Let's find out.
What is infrared radiation
The radiation adjacent to the red part of the visible spectrum, not perceived by our visual organs, but having the ability to heat the illuminated surfaces, was called infrared. The prefix "infra" means "more". In our case, these are electromagnetic beams with a wavelength greater than that of visible red light.
What is the source of infrared radiation
Its natural source is the Sun. The range of infrared rays is wide enough. These are waves with a length of 7 to 14 micrometers (μm). Partial absorption and scattering of infrared rays occurs in the Earth's atmosphere.
The scale of infrared solar radiation is evidenced by the fact that it accounts for 58% of the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves emanating from our luminary.
Such a fairly wide range of IR beams is divided into three parts:
- Long waves emitted by a heater with a temperature of up to 300 ° C;
- average - up to 600 ° C;
- short - more than 800 ° C.
All of them are radiated by excited atoms (ie, possessing excess energy), and also ions of matter. The source of IR radiation is all the bodies, if their temperature is above absolute zero (minus 273 ° C).
So, depending on the temperature of the radiator IR beams of different wavelength, intensity and penetrating power are formed. And this also determines how infrared radiation affects the living organism.
The benefits and harms of infrared radiation for human health
Answer the question - whether infrared radiation is harmful for a person, you can, armed with some information.
Long-wave IR rays, getting on the skin, affects the nerve receptors, causing a sensation of heat. Therefore, infrared radiation is also called thermal radiation.
More than 90% of this radiation is absorbed by moisture contained in the upper layers of the skin. It causes only a rise in the temperature of the skin. Medical research has shown that long-wave radiation is not only safe for humans, but also increases immunity, triggers the mechanism of regeneration and recovery of many organs and systems. Particularly effective in this respect are infrared rays with a wavelength of 9.6 μm. These circumstances are due to the use of infrared radiation in medicine.
A completely different mechanism of the effect of infrared rays on the human body, related to the short-wave part of the spectrum. They are able to penetrate to a depth of several centimeters, causing the heating of internal organs.
At the site of exposure due to the expansion of capillaries, reddening of the skin may occur, up to the formation of blisters. Especially dangerous are short IR beams for the organs of vision. They can provoke the formation of cataracts, the disturbance of the water-salt balance, the appearance of seizures.
The reason for the known effect of heat shock is short-wave IR radiation. Increasing the temperature of the brain by 1 ° C already causes its symptoms:
- increased heart rate;
- darkening in the eyes.
Overheating by 2 ° C can trigger the development of meningitis.
Now we will deal with the notion of the intensity of electromagnetic radiation. This factor depends on the distance to the heat source and its temperature. Long-wave thermal radiation of low intensity plays an important role in the development of life on the planet. The human body needs constant recharge of these wavelengths.
Thus, the harm and benefit of infrared radiation is determined by the wavelength and exposure time.
How to avoid the harmful effects of infrared rays
Since we have determined that the short-wave IR radiation has a negative effect on the human body, we will find out where this danger can be trapped.
First of all, they are bodies with a temperature exceeding 100 ° C. Such, may be the following.
- Production sources of radiant energy (steelmaking, electric arc furnaces, etc.) Reducing the danger of their impact is achieved by special protective clothing, heat shields, the use of newer technologies, as well as medical and preventive measures for staff;
- Heaters . The most reliable and proven of them is the Russian stove. Not only is the heat radiated by it extremely pleasant, but also healing. To great regret, this detail of life almost completely sank into oblivion. All possible electric heaters have replaced it. Those of them, whose heat-generating helix is protected by heat-insulating material, emit soft long-wave radiation. It has a beneficial effect on the body. Heaters with an open heating element emit a hard, short-wave radiation, which can lead to the negative consequences described above. In the technical passport of the heater, the manufacturer is obliged to indicate the radiation pattern of this device.
If you become the owner of a shortwave heater, observe the rule - the closer the heater, the less time it should be.
Help with thermal shock
Nature has endowed man with a very perfect system of thermoregulation. But, if there is still a heat stroke, it is necessary to carry out a certain set of measures that minimize its consequences:
- to transfer the victim to a cool place;
- to release him from the restraining clothes;
- apply a cold on the head, heart area, neck, axilla, in the groin and the spine;
- wrap the victim with a cold, wet sheet - when the water evaporates, the temperature will drop from the surface;
- to enhance the effect of directing airflow from the fan;
- give the victim a cool, plentiful drink;
- In severe cases, artificial respiration and an ambulance call are indicated.
Mankind lives in a world of natural and man-made sources of various radiations. Influence of infrared radiation on the human body is indisputable. But there is no statistics to prove his harm.
A knowledge of the laws of its interaction with biological objects makes it possible to use the beneficial effect of infrared radiation on a person to prevent diseases and treat various diseases.