UV Safety Awareness Month (July 2023) – District Health Department

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UV Safety Awareness Month

important facts

according to American Cancer Society:

  • Skin naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to UV rays from the sun.
  • Whenever possible, getting vitamin D from food or vitamin supplements is better than getting it from UV light.
  • Food sources and vitamin supplements do not increase the risk of skin cancer and are usually the more reliable way to get the amounts you need.
  • It is important to limit exposure by taking the following measures:
    • stay in shadeEspecially between 10am and 4pm.
    • By protecting your skin clothing that covers the arms and legs.
    • wearing hat Protect your head, face and neck.
    • wear sunglasses Protect your eyes and surrounding skin by blocking UV rays.
    • use Sunscreen Helps protect skin not covered by clothing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spending time outdoors is a great way to stay physically active, reduce stress, and stay healthy. Vitamin D. By protecting your skin from the sun, you can work and play outdoors without increasing your risk of skin cancer. UV protection is important all year round, not just in summer. UV rays can reach us on cloudy or cool days and reflect off surfaces such as water, cement, sand, and snow.

What is UV?

Radiation is the emission (pumping) of energy from any source, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation.

How are humans exposed to UV light?

The main source of UV light is sunlight, but there are also man-made sources such as tanning beds and welding torches.

What Affects UV Exposure?

The intensity of UV rays from the sun reaching the ground depends on many factors, including:

  • Times of Day: UV rays are at their strongest during the day, between 10am and 4pm.
  • Seasons of the year: UV rays are stronger from spring to summer. Near the equator this has less effect.
  • Distance from equator (latitude): The amount of UV light decreases as you move away from the equator.
  • Altitude: The higher the altitude, the more UV rays reach the ground.
  • Cloud cover: Clouds have varying effects, but it’s important to know that UV rays can reach the ground even on cloudy days.
  • Reflections from surfaces: UV rays can be reflected off surfaces such as water, sand, snow, and pavement, leading to increased UV exposure.
  • UV type: Ultraviolet rays are classified into three main groups: UVA, UVB, and UVC rays.

The main UV rays that affect the skin include UVA and UVB rays.

  • UVA rays It has the lowest energy among ultraviolet rays. These rays can age skin cells and indirectly damage their DNA. UVA rays are primarily associated with long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but are also thought to play a role in some conditions. skin cancer.
  • UVB rays It has a slightly higher energy than UVA rays. They can directly damage the DNA of skin cells and are the main rays that cause sunburn. They are also thought to be the cause of most skin cancers.
  • UVC rays It has more energy than other types of UV light. Fortunately, because of this, they react with high concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere and do not reach the ground, so they are not usually risk factors for skin cancer. However, UVC radiation can also come from man-made sources such as arc welding torches, mercury lamps, and UV disinfection bulbs used to kill bacteria and other germs (water, air, food, surfaces, etc.). there is.

UVB rays have more energy and are a stronger cause of at least some skin cancers. However, both UVA and UVB rays can damage the skin and cause skin cancer.there is no UV safe. (If you want to know more about the types of UV rays, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. )

Tips to protect yourself from the sun

Some people only think about sunscreen when spending the day at the lake, beach, or pool. But sun exposure builds up day by day, and it happens every time you’re in the sun. Sunlight is the main source of UV light, but you don’t have to avoid it completely. Also, physical activity is important for good health, so it’s not wise to stay indoors if it interferes with your activity. However, too much sun exposure can be harmful.

Tips for keeping children out of the sun

Children need special attention. They tend to spend more time outdoors, are more prone to burns, and may be unaware of danger. Parents and other caregivers should follow the steps above to protect children from excessive sun exposure. Especially in sunny parts of the world, it’s important to have children fully covered while still being comfortable.

You should get into the habit of applying sunscreen to exposed skin when you are outdoors and may be exposed to large amounts of sun for yourself and your children. As children become more independent, they need to be taught about the dangers of over-exposure to the sun. If you or your child are prone to burns, take extra care to cover yourself, limit exposure, and apply sunscreen.

Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight and should be protected from the sun by wearing hats and protective clothing. Sunscreens can only be used on small areas of exposed skin if suitable clothing and shade are not available.

Do you have any health problems related to UV rays?

  • Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Most of this exposure comes from the sun, but it can also come from artificial sources such as indoor tanning beds and solar lamps. People with more exposure to UV light have an increased risk of skin cancer.
  • Ultraviolet rays from artificial sources such as the sun or tanning beds can cause symptoms such as: Sunburn.
  • Exposure to UV light can cause: premature aging of the skin and Signs of sun damage Wrinkles, leathery skin, chloasma, actinic keratosis, solar keratosis, etc.
  • UV rays can also cause eye problems. May cause irritation and burns to the cornea (in front of the eyes). It can also cause the formation of cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) and pterygium (growth of tissue on the surface of the eye), both of which can impair vision.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light can also cause: weaken the immune systemThis makes it harder for the body to fight off infections. This can lead to problems such as herpes reactivation caused by exposure to the sun or other UV sources. It may also make the vaccine less effective.

Quick Links:

Cancer.org – Stay Safe in the Sun

CDC | Skin cancer, sunburn safety

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