Immune Function

Although UV-B is strongly absorbed in the skin and in the outer layers of the eye and does not penetrate any deeper into the human body, it can affect the human immune system, because part of the immune system is in the outer layers of skin, and the cells of the skin produce mediators that modulate immune responses both locally and throughout the body (De Gruijl, 1995; Longstreth et al., 1998). De Fabo (1994) and Chapman (1995) suggested that UV-B is the probable cause of infectious diseases and cancer, due to its affect on immune systems. Another concern is that excess UV radiation may reduce the effectiveness of immunizations against infectious diseases (Chapman, 1995). De Gruijl (1995) reported that excess UV-B exposure can suppress immune functions even in people with dark skin.

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