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A new web offers daily information about the ultra violet index

24.06.2008
It allows a better protection against sunburn

The research group “Physics of the Atmosphere” (CEAMA-University of Granada, Spain) has created a new web service which provides daily information about the Ultra Violet Index (UVI). It is advisable to revise it for a proper protection against eyes and skin’s sunburn.

According to the data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), overexposure to ultravioleta radiation causes more than two million new cases a year of processes, more or less serious, of cataracts in eyes.

Knowing the Ultra Violet Index (UVI) allows to prevent the harmful effects of sun exposure. The research group “Physics of the Atmosphere” (CEAMA-University of Granada, Spain-Andalusian Council) has created a new web service which provides daily information as part of a research work directed to the characterization of the interaction of atmospheric aerosol and clouds with solar radiation.

In http://atmosfera.ugr.es/investigacion/uvi/uvi%20(es).htm, the “Internet users” can get information about the UVI in Granada (Spain) on a scale from 1 to 11. Index 1 or 2 means that no sun protection is necessary; between 3 and 7 means that it is advisable to take measures at the central hours of the day; and 8 to 11 means that it is recommendable to maximize protection measures (according to the typical numbers followed by sun protection, appropriate clothes, sun glasses, etc.). These last two cases refer to more or less prolongad exposure to sunbeams, as the WHO and doctors advise to do.

We can not see it
Researcher Jaime Elías Gil Roca, author of the page under the supervision of Dr. Lucas Alados Arboledas, points out that the “main problema of ultra violet radiation is that it can not be felt nor seen until the damage has already been caused. As we all know, sunbathing is also beneficial to health, but an excessive sun exposure, due to professional or esthetic reasons (suntan), serious problems for health may come up”.

That is why they recommend to consult the UVI every day: “it is about adopting the habit of getting information, as we do in order to know the weather and temperature”. In the near future, it will be habitual in cities and, above all, in beaches, to offer information about the Ultra Violet Index. For the moment, we can already know the UVI in Granada.

Knowing for preventing
The aim of the web project is, in short, to contribute to overcome the risk ofdeveloping diseases associated to an improper sun exposure. It has also been caused by false beliefs or the ignorante of some basic and elementary information, useful for prevention:

-We must protect all through the year and in all seasons, contrary to the belief that if there are clouds ultra violet radiation can not reach us or that we will not get burnt when it is not hot.

-Under the sombrillas sunshades, in the beach, we ahve no protection against ultravioleta radiation. Radiation comes not just from above, but also from the sides, as the sea and the atmosphere act as a mirror and Spreads it.

-Snow also reflects UVI rays spreading them in all directions.

-Bronzed persons have no better protection against sun, as their skin shows (beyond an esthetically pleasant colour) a high degree of accumulated sunburn. It is advisable to be prudent.

Reference: Lucas Alados Arboledas (alados@ugr.es). Jaime Elías Gil Roca (jaimeegr@ugr.es). Phone number: 958-241000 (ext. 31174). http://atmosfera.ugr.es (research – Observatory CEAMA).

Note: Video download about the release (in spanisch):
TV, http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/campus/peticion.php?nota=4611
Web http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=ckKjOvkqLTc

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://atmosfera.ugr.es

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