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5 Must Have Facts About Sun Exposure for Your Next Safety Talk
With the warm weather upon us, everyone wants to be outside and in the sunshine. It also means many people will be spending extended periods of time out in the sun while working. Here are 5 quick things to know about sun exposure.
1. Not all UV rays are the same
What sun exposure really means is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV-A and UV-B are the types that most often penetrate the ozone layer to reach Earth. UV-A can trigger cutaneous lupus while UV-B is the shorter “burning” ray that can damage DNA and cells. UV-A is longer and can penetrate more deeply into the middle layer of the skin. Both are equally damaging to your skin but in different ways.
2. There is no such thing as a “safe” tan from UV light
The old theory that you can avoid getting burnt if you visit the tanning salon enough times is incorrect. Any type of UV light is damaging. Those who use tanning beds actually increase their risk of skin cancer by 40%. Tanner skin is the result of the body trying to protect itself from future damage, just like a callus on your hands after working with them for extended periods of time.
The only safe tan is achieved through a lotion or bronzer, any UV ray will damage your skin.
3. You get burnt even when standing in the shade
The easiest step people will take to avoid direct sun exposure is stand in the shade. While this is a great way to escape the sun’s harmful rays it still may leave some people at risk. The sun’s rays can be reflected off of water, sand or snow and can then burn individuals who don’t even release that they are at risk.
4. Sunscreen goes bad every 1- 3 years
Most sunscreens are designed to last three years. The first thing to do is check for an expiration date on the container.
Even if your sunscreen is only a summer old, there are other factors that can make the SPF spoil faster than the date stamped on the tube. Especially if you store your sunscreen in a warm place, like a car, by a pool, or in your purse it will expire faster due to the heat. It’s best to replace it often.
5. Your eyes can get burnt too
UV rays can damage the tissue in your eyes. They can burn the outer layer called the cornea. They also can blur your vision. Over time, you can develop cataracts which can cause blindness if left untreated. This is why it is important to always wear sunglasses that block at least 95% of UV rays.
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