WHILE August was still a cold month in Canberra, ultraviolet radiation (UV) levels were on the rise to levels that warranted sensible sun protection, for at least part of the day, said Cancer Council ACT’s CEO Sandra Turner.
“In Canberra, August is when we start to see daily UV levels climbing, and reaching 3 or above,” she said.
“Regardless of the temperature and cloud cover, UV 3 or above warrants sensible sun protection behaviour. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot weather or cold, it’s the UV that burns.”
The Cancer Council ACT message was that when UV levels reached 3 and above, a combination of sun protection behaviour was required to protect against skin damage that could contribute to skin cancer later in life. The higher the UV level, the quicker unprotected skin could damage, sunburn or no sunburn.
She said that evidence suggested that childhood and adolescence sun exposure played a significant factor in the development of skin cancer in later life. Therefore it was vital that Canberra schools and early childhood services implemented and managed an effective sun protection policy when UV levels reached 3 and above.
Every year more than 12,000 Australians were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and about 2200 Australians would die from skin cancer each year. The majority of skin cancers were preventable.