We all know that a prolonged exposure to UV rays can be bad, all thanks to our mothers constantly nagging us about applying sunscreen before going outside in the summer. Yet despite everything, there are still people that believe UV rays to be harmless and to cause nothing else than wrinkles and occasional sunburns. Those people should think twice about it. UV rays can in fact prove to be more dangerous than most people expect.


The most common effect of UV rays comes in the form of erythema, also known as sunburn. While the intensity degree of a sunburn depends on many factors (among them the amount of time spent under the sun), the longer the exposure, the worse the sunburn tends to be. Sunburns are caused by the skin soaking up too much energy from UV rays and getting damaged in the process. The reason why the skin turns red when suffering from sunburn is because of the increased blood flow trying to repair the damaged skin.


While not a harmful effect per se, premature aging of the skin still remains an effect that most people would like to avoid. The truth is that long exposures to UV rays speeds up the aging process. Wrinkles, “brown liver spots” and the loss of skin elasticity are caused by UV rays destroying collagen and the tissues underneath the top layer of the skin. Luckily, it is never too late to stop the effects of photoaging, especially if good quality skin repair products are used.

Skin Cancer

Cancer is not something that most people would like to associate with. According to studies, skin cancer tends to be the most common type throughout the world. What’s more, scientists have found overwhelming evidences that prolonged exposures to UV rays are heavily linked to the occurrence of the three main types of skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma). Some even go as far as to say that 90% of skin cancers are caused by UV radiation. If this is not a good reason to be careful under the sun, then what is?

Eye Damage

A less-acknowledged effect of UV rays, eye damage is still very real and present. UV rays have been known to damage the tissues of the eyes. In most extreme cases, they can even lead to “snow blindness” or photokeratitis, which is a painful burning of the eye surface. While the effects of photokeratitis disappear after a few days, they can affect a person later in life. Research has also found that prolonged exposures to sunshine often leads to a higher risk of contracting eye diseases such as cataracts or pinguecula later down the road.

UV rays are more harmful than most people think, but the good news is that the effects of excessive sun exposure on our bodies are never too late to reverse. Protecting oneself from those effects may seem troublesome at first, but it often pays, especially when being careful is what can end up saving a life.



When it comes to compiling tax returns, many property owners do not realize that certain improvements that are made or implemented can in fact net them some excellent tax returns – especially when it comes to making a building as energy-efficient as possible. Over the past few years, it has even been possible to obtain tax credits on window film that has been installed on many private homes and even some business properties.

Obtain Federal Tax Credit

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has enabled millions of property owners to obtain federal tax credits after making certain energy improvements to their structures – this includes having window tinting installed. However, it is important for property owners to remember that there are a few terms and conditions associated with receiving the appropriate tax credit. The maximum tax credit that can be granted on window film will be an amount of $500, and this will not be allowed to be applied to the cost of installation – only materials installed qualify. The installation must also take place on existing properties; new construction and rental properties don’t qualify to receive a credit.

Documentation Required

Property owners will be entitled to receive as much as a 10% tax credit on their window film installation, provided that the correct documentation is completed at the time of filing their tax returns. IRS form 5695 will need to be filled out and submitted in conjunction with the property owner’s tax return. Copies of the window film supplier’s invoice will also need to be submitted; it is important to remember that information on this document will need to be clearly separated according to installation and material costs. A copy of the manufacturer’s certification information will also be needed to determine whether the products used do in fact qualify for the tax credit.

2 Ways to Save Money

Although the tax credit received for having the appropriate window film products is a once-off event, property owners often forget that they will also be saving money in another way over the long term in the form of reduced energy costs. Once window film has been installed, it is possible for a building’s overall energy costs to be reduced by as much as 85%, especially during the summer months – most window film products work by keeping excess heat as well as harmful UV rays outside, which helps reduce the need for air-conditioning substantially. Many property owners are able to make use of space fans for cooling after having energy-efficient window film installed.

Unlike many other energy-efficient products where the payback time is normally spread over more than 5 years, the cost of having window film installed can usually be recouped within 2 to 3 years at the most. When having window tinting installed, it is essential that the service be performed by an accredited company, as failure to do so could not only result in inferior products being used; it could prevent the appropriate tax credit request from being approved.