Normally we talk about ground level ozone, or bad ozone. This is the ozone that Knox County Air Quality Management monitors and measures to ensure that the air is safe to breathe. But there is another ozone, the good ozone that shields the Earth from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
July is UV Safety month: The UV Index is calculated daily and predicts the strength of harmful solar rays. Check the UV Index – when you know how strong the sun’s rays will be, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from overexposure.
UV Index: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
Regardless of the UV Index, the following sun safety measures are encouraged:
- Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds. Both methods of tanning can cause skin cancer.
- Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. Remember to reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
- Seek shade when possible, especially between the hours of 11a.m. and 5 p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
- Remember that water, sand and even snow reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Check the UV Index.
Sun safety action steps: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/action steps.html