That Sneaky One
What is UVR?
They are not absorbed by the ozone layer and are able to penetrate the skin deeply. They cause skin cells to age and can cause indirect damage to a cell’s DNA. These rays are associated with long-term damage to the skin such as wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and ultimately skin cancer.
They are partially absorbed by the ozone layer and mostly affect the surface of the skin. UVB rays cause direct damage to our skin’s DNA. They have more energy than UVA and are the primary cause of sunburns. These rays are thought to cause most cases of skin cancer.
They have way more energy than UVA and UVB. Luckily, they don't get through our atmosphere and are not in our sunlight. We thought you should know they exist in case you get tested at school.
What Factors Affect UVR?
Time of day.
Stronger radiation will exist between 10am and 4pm. Even if the radiation index is low that day, remember it will be at its peak closer to noon! (We’ll get to the radiation index later). A good rule to remember is: if your shadow is shorter than your height, your UV exposure is high and you need to #stayshady. If the length of your shadow is longer than you, your UV exposure is not as high but you should still #StayShady.
Season of the year.
UV rays will be stronger during the summer months than during the winter. Can you believe that sunburns can occur up to 6 times faster in the summer? Probably, but why? This happens because UVB varies depending on the season but UVA is constant throughout the year. Also, don't be fooled- a cloudy day can harm us just as much as a sunny one! Although clouds can reduce UV exposure a bit, 80% of rays will still pass through the clouds and reach us.
The higher you are, the more UV exposure you will have- next time you go to the mountains remember that! For every 1000 meters above sea level, the UV exposure is increased by up to 16%.
How to Know Our UV Exposure?
During the 1980’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Weather Service developed a UV Index that helps measure the UV radiation at the Earth’s surface. The index serves as an indicator of the UV rays’s potential to cause skin damage from overexposure to the sun. It predicts the UV intensity level for the following day on a scale from 0-10+. It is calculated for sea-level elevation and it factors in weather variables such as clouds, rain, etc - we think its pretty accurate!
The table below shows how the index works and how it can help you:
Go to our next page so you can learn how the sun affects our skin!