4 Easily Preventable Health Hazards Of Solar Panels

4 Easily Preventable Health Hazards of Solar Panels



Solar energy technologies are being embraced around the world for a good reason. Many countries have been making strides to eliminate their dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuel oil that contributes to global climate changes. Being able to produce electricity from the sun s heat is a great step toward achieving a fully green power generation system.

If you live in a sunny area, you will find solar power technology a wise investment. And if you are planning to outfit your home with solar panels soon, you may want to learn about the underlying health hazards surrounding them.

Here are the four readily preventable health hazards of solar panels and arrays.

Silicosis and the Inhalation of Toxic Fumes

Crystalline silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor in manufacturing solar cells. Inhaling silica dust, which is the same dust found in ordinary sand particles, for a long period of time may lead to silicosis. Initial symptoms of lung damage resulting from silicosis include coughing, shortness of breathing, and weight loss.

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The good news is that solar panels are adequately covered by plastic or heavy-duty glass. Thus, there is very little possibility of the semiconductor material leaking into the environment and wreaking havoc on your health. Workers in mines and quarry sites are much more susceptible to this particular health hazard.

According to an online safety guide posted by the local government of Oregon, even in the case of fire, there is generally little risk associated with toxic fumes produced by burning solar modules. This is due to the relatively high melting points of solar-panel components. They just do not burn easily, most especially those solar panels designed to be mounted on the ground.

It is particularly noteworthy that graphene sheets, which can be more efficient, are currently being developed to replace the silicon layers that coat the photovoltaic cells found inside the solar panels.

Effects of Electromagnetic Field

The Oregon Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding published a paper which allays fears regarding the strength of the electromagnetic field produced by solar arrays. The paper declares that the levels are below those considered dangerous by the Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Electric Shock

In case of fire, the danger of contacting a high-voltage conductor is high, especially in roof-mounted residential and commercial-grade solar panels. This hazard most definitely affects first responders, such as firemen.

The solution to this problem is to carefully label the solar system components. The public safety building code of California imposes such marking system.

Allergenic Fungi and Mold

Solar-powered thermal systems equipped with water-holding units can host molds and fungi which lead to allergies. This potential health risk can be easily prevented by using appropriate materials. If you should DIY your solar-powered heating system, you might want to seek expert opinion first on how to go about it and what materials to use.

All in all, there is generally little danger associated with the use of solar panels. As long as the installation and mounting is done by a professional and you are using the right solar panels, then you should not worry about health hazards posed by using clean energy from the sun.

Sam Jones, the author, has been considering

solar panels

for his house and thinks the potential long term savings are considerable.

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4 Easily Preventable Health Hazards of Solar Panels