A robust, inexpensive filter for blocking UVC radiation in broad-spectrum 'UVB' lamps

A. M. Lepre, J. C. Sutherland, J. G. Trunk, B. M. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Accurate studies of the biological effects of UVB radiation require suitable laboratory sources. Lamps labeled as UVB sources often emit UVC radiation that contributes significantly to the levels of DNA damage. The UVC from an unfiltered UVB source produced more pyrimidine dimers in soybean DNA than a lamp filtered by a Pyrex dish that removes wavelengths of < 280 nm. Calculations based on action spectra and on the emission spectra of unfiltered lamps indicate that UVC contributes ~ 13%, 4% and ~ 1% of the total dimers induced in unshielded cells or DNA, alfalfa cotyledons, and human skin, respectively. Further, relative to a Pyrex dish-filtered lamp, an unfiltered lamp would produce ~ 7-, 2.4- or 2.8-fold more dimers in these three biological systems. We report here that a Pyrex dish provides an effective, stable, robust and inexpensive filter for reducing or excluding the contribution of UVC to damage induced by broad-spectrum 'UVB' lamps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclobutyl pyrimidine dimer
  • Environmental photobiology
  • UV filter
  • UV radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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