July is all about sun safety. With summer newly arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, our thoughts turn to “fun-in-the-sun” times. The new swim suit, a trip to the park, sand buckets for the kids, and—oh, yes—don’t forget the sunscreen!
July is “UV Safety Month” in the U.S. So what exactly does “UV safety” mean? And what is UV radiation? Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation whose main source on Earth is from the sun. Manmade sources include tanning beds and welding torches. UV rays have more energy than the rays that produce visible light. Scientists have divided UV rays into three ranges: UVA (weakest); UVB (more intense); and UVC (the strongest). UVA and UVB rays are thought to be the ones to cause changes in the skin that may lead to skin cancer. UVC rays react with ozone and never make it to Earth.