Warning of sunburn risk after just 30 minutes due to UV levels

Scots warned of sunburn risk after just 30 minutes in the sun due to high UV levels in Scotland this week

STV’s Sean Batty predicts that high and rare levels of UV radiation can be expected this week.

By Lucy Ashton

Scots are being warned that they could burn after spending just 30 minutes in the sun over the next few days, due to high UV levels.

STV meteorologist Sean Batty predicts that high and rare levels of UV radiation can be expected across Scotland over the next few days, bringing burn time under half an hour for some.

It is important that if you are in an area that is particularly sunny over the next few days, you take steps to ensure protection from increased UV levels.

A small amount of UV radiation is essential in the production of vitamin D in our bodies, however too much exposure to the sun can have serious effects on the skin and eyes.

It is important not to be caught out by the sun, so keep covered and wear a hat and sunglasses, spend time in the shade and use a high factor sun cream with good UVA protection to protect yourself.

UV radiation can negatively affect not only your skin, but also your eyes.

Short term, it can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens, and burn the surface of the eye much like sunburn on skin.

Long term exposure to UV radiation can be more serious, raising the risk of cataract development, which is the leading cause of blindness in the world.

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK, with over 15,400 cases of malignant melanoma (the most serious type of skin cancer) and over 20,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (the less deadly type of skin cancer) diagnosed each year.

Over the last decade, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by half (50%) in the UK. Rates in men have increased by almost two-thirds (64%), and rates in women have increased by almost two-fifths (39%).

Yinka Ebo, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK said: “It’s great to have such lovely weather, and we all need some sun to keep us healthy, but it’s important to stay safe when the sun is strong and take care not to burn.

“In many cases sunburn actually happens in the UK, often when people are out and about. The sun’s rays can be strong enough to burn in the UK from around April to September.

“You can protect yourself and your family from sunburn by using a combination of shade, clothing and at least SPF 15 sunscreen when enjoying the sunshine.”

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