Learn About UV Radiation During July Awareness Month
UV safety takes on a whole new urgency in the summertime as many more people head outdoors to enjoy time at the beach, around the pool, enjoying the outdoors and recreating in the sunshine. To help everyone stay safer under the sun, July is set as UV Safety Awareness Month.
UV radiation occurs naturally as radiation emitted by the sun – UVA and UVB radiation. In small doses it can be a benefit to people by helping their bodies to produce vitamin D. But too much can lead to skin damage and premature aging, skin cancer, and blinding eye diseases.
Other sources of UV radiation that can pose a serious danger to skin are tanning beds and booths.
To protect yourself, practice the 5 S’s. Read more about those here. But with UV radiation, you can also arm yourself with information using some of the tools available that help to measure UV exposure.
The Environmental Protection Agency uses a UV index to forecast expected risk of overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. It uses zip codes across the country to tailor the index based on location. The index predicts risk of overexposure on a scale from 0 (low risk) to 11 or more (extremely high risk).
Some news stations report on the UV index in their daily weather reports, but you can use the EPA’s tool to find your local daily index, or download the free UV Index app for your smartphone. Visit https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1 to get details.
Resources to teach children about the UV Index in classroom settings are available from our Sun Smart educator resources and include EPA’s SunWise Tool Kit. We also recommend adding the EPA’s UV Index widget to websites such as for schools, workplaces and on company intranets.