I'm curious, I'm a chemist and I use a UV lamp nearly every day to visualize TLC plates. The lamps, as I understand it emit from ~254-365 nm. The lamp is typically used against a black benchtop background to illuminate a white silica TLC plate, usually impregnated with a fluorescent dye to help visualization (the whole plate typically glows green under UV light, except where your compound is).
I always avoid looking directly at the lamp of course (but occasionally catch sight of it). However, I'm wondering, how dangerous this frequent exposure is. I'm often wearing my regular prescription glasses while doing this (which I believe block UV), but I know some people don't wear anything when looking at their TLCs. Furthermore, I always wear at least reasonably thick gloves when my hands are under the UV, but again, some people do not (this is direct exposure to the UV lamp source, which seems like a really bad idea...). Do you think the reflection is hazardous ? Given the frequency of use by the average bench chemist, it seems like this should be more of a concern than people typically talk about.
A typical lamp used for this purpose is shown here: http://www.uvp.com/compactlamps.html#thumb or here: http://orgchem.colorado.edu/hndbksupport/TLC/TLCprocedure.html#visualize
Also, some people sell enclosures to help visualization, but also to help block the UV light ... the annoyance with these of course is that they're typically quite clunky to use in comparison to the "flashlight" method people often use: http://uvp.com/cabinetsoverview.html.