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Sunlight

Although sunlight is the source of energy for sustaining life on our planet, ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun can be harmful. UVR can cause various types of skin cancers (including deadly melanomas) and skin aging; contributes to eye-related problems such as cataracts and cancer of the eye; and suppresses the effectiveness of the body's immune system.

While fairer skinned people are more susceptible to hazardous effects from UVR, everyone should take the following precautions:

  • Avoid exposure of infants under 6 months of age to direct sunlight
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants and brimmed hats
  • Use a sunscreen if prolonged exposure is unavoidable
  • Wear sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of the sun's rays
  • Avoid UVR exposure in highly reflective environments such as snow, sand, water and concrete
  • Avoid UVR exposure at high altitudes and at times when UVR levels are high such as summer and midday
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds
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