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Dr, A while back you answered a question and stated:

Dr Chan, A while back...

Dr Chan, A while back you answered a question and stated: "Infrared radiation is invisible to humans and is only detected in the form of heat. As far as I know, unlike UV radiation, IR is only rarely harmful to the eyes. Prolonged exposure over many years can accelerate cataract formation (mostly with people who work with hot materials such as molten glass or steel). However, IR has a short range. To be sure, if you get close enough to the source with your eyes, you would feel the heat which would cause you to close your eyes or move away long before it can cause any harm. If you suffer from dry eyes, the heater may exacerbate this condition." If IR has a short range how can it heat objects 20 feet away from the tube? My mechanic has an AMBIRAD IR system in his garage and it's amazing. The whole garage heats up within 5 minutes. However, I am concerned about eye damage. I am opening a hot yoga studio. I was thinking about placing an AMBIRAD radiant IR system on the ceiling (I have 13 foot tall ceilings). It's affordable, heats up quickly and is efficient. I was told IR can be harmful. I don't want to risk damaging anyone's heath, but can I feel safe with an AMBIRAD IR system in my hot yoga studio? I have equal concerns about forced air due to allergens and other pollutants it blows around, but let me know what you think

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Answered in 18 minutes by:
10/16/2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Satisfied Customers: 11,654
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Peter,
the IR only has a short range of penetration into tissues. It is not harmful when used as a heating system etc.
You are perfectly safe using your AMBIRAD IR system in your yoga studio.
Also, forced air systems usually have a filter in them. If you have allergies you could put a HEPA filter in it which would help.
Does this make sense to you?
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.
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Dr. Rick MD FACS
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

A couple follow up questions.

If the IR only has a short range of penetration into tissue how is it that it heats up a human body so well?

Also, a normal hot yoga studio is heated to over 100 degrees F.

How does an infrared heater measure the temperature? For example, a forced air system measures the air temperature to make sure it's 100 degrees. An infrared heater passes through the air until it hits objects and the objects absorb radiation. How can I tell when I've heated my room to the proper temp?

Peter,
It adds heat to the tissues to heat the body.
You have to measure the room temperature just as you would with any heating system. When the room air measures 100 degrees that it what it is.
The IR adds heat to the space by heating up the things in it, like the floor, the couch etc, this then transfers to the air/total heat of the room.
Make sense?
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