By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2003.
The UV Index, a measurement of ultraviolet (UV) sun radiation, can help protect you and your family from potentially harmful exposure. This forecast of UV intensity ranges from a nighttime low of 0 to an intensely sunny 10+ and is greatest when the sun hits its apex (noon), then rapidly decreases as the sun moves across the afternoon sky. The higher the UV Index, the shorter the time for skin damage to occur.
Minimizing risk is especially important for children, who are particularly vulnerable to UV damage. Overexposure can cause acute sunburn, skin cancer and other skin disorders, eye damage and even compromised immunity. While dark-skinned people are less susceptible to sun damage, they can still be affected.
To determine the UV Index in your area, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html. And don’t forget your sunscreen!