Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and sky can have major effects on people, plants and animals. The UV region covers the wavelength ranges 100-280nm (UVC), 280-315nm (UVB) and 315-400nm (UVA), but all UVC from the sun is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.
The UV part of the solar spectrum has several beneficial effects for human biology, such as production of Vitamin D, but too much can be very harmful. Both UVA and UVB burn the skin and cause ageing effects. UVB can promote cancers, melanoma and cataracts. Kipp & Zonen has a range of high quality UV radiometers, including models suitable for calculating the Global Solar UV Index (UVI) for public information.
The concentration of Ozone in the upper atmosphere has a large effect on the amount of UVB reaching the ground. The Kipp & Zonen Brewer Mk III spectrophotometer is the only instrument in current production sanctioned by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for monitoring total column Ozone and also makes very accurate direct sun and whole-sky spectral UV measurements. Brewers provide much of the data for the World Ozone and UV Data Centre (WOUDC).