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Optical Radiation

UV Radiation - Sun - Solaria - Infrared Radiation - Laser

Optische Strahlung

Why UV radiation protection?

  • UV radiation can cause numerous health problems in skin and eyes - in the worst case skin cancer.
  • All harmful consequences of high UV exposure - including skin cancer - can be prevented by appropriate protective measures.
  • The UV index (UVI) provides an aid to orientation.
  • Children have to be particularly protected.

UV radiation impacts on the human body. Skin and eyes are affected. There UV radiation can cause numerous health problems - in the worst case skin cancer. The number of skin cancer cases continues to rise in Germany - and worldwide. In Germany, the number of new skin cancer cases doubles every 10 to 15 years.

All harmful consequences of high UV exposure - including skin cancer - can be prevented by appropriate protective measures. The UV index (UVI) provides an aid to orientation: the higher the UV index on a given day, the higher the UV exposure and thus the risk of sunburn. The sooner and more consistently you should protect yourself - in this order:

  1. seek shade, or stay indoors at a UV index of 8 or higher,
  2. dress properly and wear good sunglasses
  3. apply good sunscreen to uncovered areas of the body.

The skin type also plays an important role: the more sensitive the skin is to UV radiation, the more likely sunburn occurs and the higher is the risk of skin cancer.

Why particularly protecting children?

Particularly with children care must be taken that high UV exposure and sunburns be absolutely prevented! Sudden, strong UV exposure (so-called "intermittent" UV exposure) and sunburn during childhood and adolescence increase the risk of developing skin cancer by a factor of 2 to 3.

  • Too much UV radiation and sunburns cause genetic damage in the skin cells. • Children’s and youngsters’ bodies are still in development, thus undergoing more cell divisions than adults. Once a genetic damage has been set, it can multiply quickly due to the high cell proliferation rate. As a result, there is a high probability of persistent damage in the genetic material (mutations) which, in turn, may cause cancer.
  • UV-radiation causes the formation of melanocytic nevi (moles) of the skin. An increased number of such moles (more than 50) acquired due to high UV exposures and sunburns, as well as atypical moles mean an increased risk of developing malignant melanoma.

For this reason, infants must not be exposed to direct sunlight. Children must be protected from strong UV radiation and sunburn. Furthermore, children and adolescents up to the age of 18 have absolutely no place in sunbeds – sunbed use by minors is forbidden by law in Germany.

State of 2018.11.27

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz