Ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the sun is known to cause skin cancer, skin aging, eye damage, and may affect the immune system. People who work outdoors are the most likely to experience short and long-term adverse health effects from UV radiation exposure. Workers who may be exposed to intense UV radiation levels must be aware of the risks and take the appropriate protective actions.
The UV Index is a rating scale, with numbers from 1 to 11, which indicates the amount of skin-damaging UV rays reaching the Earth’s surface during the day.
Strategies to Protect Your Skin / Effects
1 – 2
3 – 5
Moderate risk of harm. Take precautions.
6 – 7
High risk of harm. Protection needed.
8 – 10
Very high risk of harm. Protection needed.
Extreme risk of harm. Avoid sun exposure during midday hours, from 10 am to 4 pm. Liberally apply sunscreen with an SPF-30 or greater every 2 hours.
Download the EPA’s SunWise UV Index6 app available for Android and iPhone devices. This useful app predicts the ultraviolet radiation levels on a 1-11+ scale for your location and appropriate precautions. Use the hourly index to plan your outdoor activities accordingly.
The strength of UV rays reaching the ground depends on several factors, such as:
An easy way to tell how much UV exposure you are getting is to look for your shadow: