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Both my father and my grandfather where drivers, and over time ended up with a wrinklier left hand compared to the right hand, due to sunlight exposure over 40+ years while holding the steering wheel with the left hand. I googled for sunlight exposure through a glass window and I get contradictory answers either stating either that most glasses filter out UV-light that affects skin tanning and ageing or that the effect of sunlight on skin is pretty much the same if it is direct or through a glass window. So, are the effects of sunlight through a glass window different from direct sunlight exposure?

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migrated from Mar 15 '13 at 13:18

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This question has more of a Physics bent to it than Biology. UVB/UVA light will cause burning/aging, that much is known. You're talking about how light interacts with a medium, and why it does so. That said, I seem to remember reading that tinted/filtered windows do protect you - but regular glass offers no protection at all since it's not designed to disrupt the light in any way. – MCM Mar 14 '13 at 12:53
Wikipedia says that glass blocks ninety percent of light below 300nm. – Pricklebush Tickletush Mar 15 '13 at 14:22
@AlecS even if it is only 10% the hours of driving and the latitude would play a large role. One hour radiation in the equator is ten hours or so close to the poles. And infrared cooks the skin after all, and that passes the glass. – anna v Mar 15 '13 at 16:48

There are papers that provide a starting point for further research:

  • M. Moehrle, M. Soballa, M. Korn: UV exposure in cars. In: Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine. 19(4) August 2003, pp. 175–181. PMID 12925188
  • M. G. Kimlin, A. V. Parisi: Ultraviolet radiation penetrating vehicle glass: a field based comparative study. In: Physics in medicine and biology. 44(4) April 1999, pp. 917–926. PMID 10232805. PMID 10232805
  • M. G. Kimlin, A. V. Parisi, B. D. Carter, D. Turnbull: Comparison of the solar spectral ultraviolet irradiance in motor vehicles with windows in an open and closed position. In: International journal of biometeorology. 46(3), August 2002, pp.150–156. PMID 12194009
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I'm not sure this qualifies as a proper answer – rg255 Mar 14 '13 at 14:07
Why not? This is academic literature that yahoo301503 might be unaware of and that covers the topic "sunlight through vehicle windows". – lejonet Mar 14 '13 at 18:15
I don't doubt that the answer lies within that literature but normally answers explain the solution and support it with literature – rg255 Mar 14 '13 at 18:18
Ok. Thanks for explaining. – lejonet Mar 14 '13 at 23:32

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