The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.
Depletion of the ozone layer over the past four decades has resulted in increased levels of UV light reaching the earth.
Meanwhile, worldwide research into the knock-on effects of over-exposure to UV light are well publicised – such as the Australian government’s ‘slip,slap,slop’ campaign to use sunscreen to protect from skin cancer.
But the positive effects of sunlight on the human body are less widely paraded.
Professor Mary Norval and a team from the University of Edinburgh Medical School have studied recent research into effects of the UV light on human health – and the positive and negative implications of ozone depletion.
Non-malignant skin cancers have been shown to be largely attributed to sun exposure, as have the malignant variety though these are also affected by genetic factors.
Eye damage can also occur in two main ways – formation of cataracts, and growths called pterygiums.
Prof Norval said: “Large increases in the occurrences of these two eye conditions are predicted in the future.”
While the research supports various government campaigns to get citizens to protect themselves from the sun, scientists are finding more beneficial effects of UV light on humans.
It is well documented that sunlight is needed for the skin to synthesise vitamin D – 90 per cent of the body’s supply of this vitamin.
Prof Norval said: “The link between rickets and lack of light has been known for almost a hundred years.
“But vitamin D is now implicated in the prevention of an increasing number of non-skeletal disorders. These include internal cancers, such as colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancers, and autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis and insulin-dependent diabetes.
“Sunscreens shield the body from the type of UV light needed to make vitamin D, so covering any exposed skin with sunscreen at all times is not advisable.”
She added: “Despite the distinct possibility that the ozone layer will repair itself in the coming decades, the take home message from the research so far is that we should strike a balance between the positive effects of vitamin D formation and the serious negative effects of too much sun exposure.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences