Allah Says in the Qur’an, “And He has subjected for your benefit the day and the night, the sun and the moon. And the stars have been subjected by His command. Surely in this are signs for those who understand.” 16:12
Ultraviolet rays have recently been blamed for the high incidences of skin cancer across the globe. However, many people are not aware that ultraviolet rays also have some beneficial effects.
It was in 1903 that the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for the discovery of UV rays as an effective treatment for many ailments.
Carefully dosed UV exposure has protective effects against cancer for the entire organism (Severn, p.1). Furthermore, UV light disinfects water by altering the genetic material in viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, thus destroying harmful microorganisms such as E. Coli.
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However, UV rays have received bad press due to their contributions to the “greenhouse effect.” UV intensity is now forecast in population centers daily.
National Geographic reported that more than 60% of the sun’s UV light strikes between 10a.m and 3p.m, increasing the risk of tissue damage. This is based on increased cases of fatal and non-fatal skin cancer in the U.S. (Matthews, p.88).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises people to “protect against UV light whenever you can see your shadow.” In response, people began darkening windows, wearing sunglasses and increasing their usage of sunscreen lotion.
However, like all of Allah’s creations, UV rays are not “all bad”. The three elements combined (sun, earth and water) are tahar (pure) in Islam. On a dull day, ultraviolet rays (radiation) penetrate the haze, thus revealing the sun’s position and enabling some animals to navigate by the sun.
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Solar radiation consists mainly of ultraviolet and infrared rays (Hutchinson, p.546). These rays are strongly germicidal and invisible to the human eye. They travel at wavelengths of four nanometers within x-ray range (Hutchinson, p.614).
Man is also uses the guidelines that Allah (swt) had presented in nature by using these rays to benefit mankind. UV disinfection systems for water and waste have recently been developed by a Canadian-based company, Trojan Technologies, for use by municipalities around the world.
In June 2001, new regulations were set up as a framework for the use of UV disinfection, in order to address parasites known to be resistant to chlorine and as a step toward the reduction of chemical disinfection.
The regulation asks that all municipalities who draw drinking water from surface water sources in Quebec filter and disinfect drinking water supplies before distribution (ENS, p.1).
Chlorination of water is considered toxic to aquatic life. In the Canadian province of British Colombia, the authorities discourage chlorine disinfection for sewage treatment plants discharging into marine waters.
In the United States, however, chlorination is common, but de-chlorination is rare. De-chlorination reduces the lethal effects of chlorine. British Colombia authorities believe that the risk posed by chlorination and de-chlorination form compounds outweighs the problems that would occur to public health (Puget, p.1).
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