Pros and Cons of Infrared Radiation

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pros and cons infrared radiation

Pros and Cons of Infrared Radiation

When we hear the word radiation, it’s tempting to picture massive explosions and frightening mutations, but that’s not the full story. Radiation also applies to rainbows and a doctor examining an x-ray. So, what is radiation really

Electromagnetic radiation [1] is pure energy consisting of interacting electrical and magnetic waves oscillating through space. As these waves oscillate faster, they scale up in energy. At the lower end of the spectrum, there’s radio, infrared, and visible light. At the higher end are ultraviolet, x-ray, and gamma rays.

Modern society is shaped by sending and detecting electromagnetic radiation. We might download an email to our phone via radio waves to open an image of an x-ray print, which we can see because our screen emits visible light.

Infrared radiation has played an essential role in the field of military, science, research, medical applications and business. There are so many home devices, military and medical equipment that relies solely on IR technology. Appliances like IR heater, weather satellites, near-infrared spectroscopy sensors works cannot function without IR.

Application of the IR is versatile, but sometimes it can be really harmful.

Pros of Infrared Radiations

Help keep our planet warm

Our planet is the only known human habitable planet in our solar system, and it has been possible because of 1st, our planet’s distance from the sun and 2nd because of the sun.

Thanks to Sun, our planet is able to grow and nurture. But how does sun keep us warm

The sun’s rays – ranging from infrared (IR) to ultraviolet (UV) – travel through the atmosphere without the need of any medium to carry them. When the sun’s rays (IR) hit an object, they heat the specific object from the inside without heating the surrounding air.

Infrared heat works by directly heating the object and not the air around the object. That’s where IR heat differs from other types of heat sources. Most types of heat sources heat the air around objects while IR heat directly heats the object like walls, floors, ceilings, and objects located in a room – including the human body.

IR Heaters

While convection heaters produce heat by heating up the air and surface, infrared heaters heat the objects and people directly. The latter will create a movement of heat in the body by way of optimal blood circulation. This way it produces a deep sense of warmth in the body. That’s why IR heating is beneficial to people who have asthma and bronchial ailments. Dust circulation in the room is minimized due to the unique heating method of IR heating. It also prevents humidity level from rising and promoting unwanted mold growth.

Infrared Panels

IR panels can produce instant heat compared to other types of heating panels out there. No more waiting for your room to warm up when you opt for IR heating panels to heat your home. On the other hand, IR heating costs are lower than electric convection heating. When you choose for convection heating sources, warm air tends to gather around the ceiling and cold air around the floor. With IR heating, the temperature differences across the room are quite small. Hence, you can enjoy a consistent temperature minus any cold spots in the room.

IR panels heat solid objects. The panels can dry mold and mildew on damp walls when you direct the panels onto these walls. That way IR heat will help reduce the growth of mold and mildew in your home. In fact, IR heating systems are much simpler and cost-effective compared to wet central heating systems. Since IR panels run on electricity, you don’t need to install a boiler or additional pipework to run the system. That way you can save money in the process of installing IR heating panels.

Cons of Infrared Radiations

Eye Damage

One among the most sensitive organ of the human body is eye, and it is sensitive to all sorts of radiation which means its also sensitive to IR.

We all known that IR is good for the human body as it helps to relax pain, helps in improving the blood flow than how it’s harmful to our eyes.

Well, IR gradually increases the temperature of any object or body it comes in contact with, and that is also true without eyes. When IR strikes our eyes, it slowly increases the temperature of the liquid inside our eye-balls thus triggering the sense of pain. In severe cases eyes can suffer cornea damage or eye-lens damage. It’s a reason why you should not directly look at sun especially without googles. It’s also one of the main reasons why it’s suggested to wear goggles while working near the IR source.

Greenhouse Effect

One among the potential cause of the Greenhouse effect is IR radiation. When sun rays pass through the earth’s atmosphere, they get filtered by the clouds, but clouds along with the earth’s surface absorb the IR radiation and then re-emit it back into the surrounding. This causes an increase in the atmospheric temperature which causes the water to evaporate. Because of this the concentration of the water vapor along with various other elements like “components” of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur increases and thus traps the IR radiation near the ground level. This phenomenon causes the temperature as well as climate change in the nearby surrounding which is harmful not only for humans but also for every other living being.

Skin Damage

Many studies [2] show that prolonged exposure to infrared radiation can cause severe skin problems and, in some cases, permanent damage to skin tissues.

Dangerous Applications Laser Beams

Laser beams are quite common and its super fun to play with. Nowadays you can quickly get your hands on high-intensity laser beams for as low as $50. Sounds excellent right? To be true, it’s not so great. Laser light is mainly composed of various electromagnetic radiations including microwaves, IR, visible light and multiple others. The intensity of the electromagnetic radiations is amplified using a channel of the lens. A personal-use certified laser can quickly burn a match stick, just imagine how much damage it can do to your skin or to your eye.

Conclusion

It’s undeniably true that Infrared radiation is essential for us. Every day we come across some sort of practical application of IR radiation, medical, military, gadgets, etc., but we also need to understand the risks associated with it. Improper usage of IR can be dangerous and, in some cases, can be life-threatening.

Important Citations

[1] https://en.wikipedia.orgwikiElectromagnetic_radiation

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.comsciencearticlepiiS1087002415305049

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