If like me you are a twenty-four party person you’ve probably spent a lot of time dancing the night away down the disco. You may even have been to one where the audience is sprayed with a mist that makes your skin glow when they turn on the UV lights. Is this hazardous? UV light gets a bad press, so it is an obvious question.
I’ve been working on a safety assessment for that kind of product, and so I’ve had the chance to look into whether there are any risks associated with it.
You can stop worrying.
The type of light typically used in discos or nightclubs to create a glowing effect is called black light, which emits ultraviolet (UV) light. This type of light can make white and fluorescent colours appear to glow in the dark, which adds to the atmosphere of the event.
While black lights emit UV radiation, the type of UV radiation they produce is generally the safer kind, known as UVA. This is the same type of UV light that comprises the majority of the UV radiation in sunlight. UVA is less harmful than UVB or UVC radiation, which are the types most likely to cause sunburns or skin cancer. So a few minutes of exposure while bouncing up and down to the latest hot grooves isn’t going to do you any harm.