UV Protection | What is UV?

UV Protection

What is UV? Is UV harmful? Is UV protection necessary? How do you protection against UV? Knowing the answers to these questions is the first step to enjoying the sun safely.

What is UV?

Ultraviolet (UV) is an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 10 nm (30 PHz) to 400 nm (750 THz). Ultraviolet is not visible to humans and has a shorter wavelength than visible light.

Is UV harmful?

In a word, yes. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation may result in damage to your skin, eyes, and even your immune system. Just a few hours of exposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn. Long term UV radiation exposure can lead to skin damage and premature skin aging, eye damage, and in serious cases skin cancer and cataracts can occur.

Is UV protection necessary?

Yes. It would be a mistake to think about sun protection only when you plan to work in the yard or spend a day at the lake, beach, or pool. Sun exposure happens every time you are in the sun and it adds up day after day. People of all ages and especially people that work in or enjoy being out in the sun should make a habit of protecting their skin from the sun every time they are in it. You especially need UV protection if one or more of the following risk factors applies to you:

  • You have fair skin
  • You have light colored eyes
  • You have had a sunburn or a history of sunburns
  • You have had excessive exposure to the sun
  • You have a family or personal history of skin cancer
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have been exposure to radiation

How do you protect against UV?

To protect against UV while your are working in or enjoying the sun, remember to slip, slap, and slop. That is, slip on protective clothing such as an arm sleeve or tubular bandana, slap on a hat or a cap, and slop on sunscreen. Use at least SPF 30 sunscreen and remember that sunscreen only lasts for two hours. The more your skin is covered, the more you are protected against UV.

Remember that while outdoor activities are a key part of any healthy lifestyle, it is just as important to take the essential precautions to shield your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun and to protect your skin from damage which might lead to skin cancer.

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