Queensland will confront extreme UV levels this week as we swelter through another serious heatwave.
With temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees in some parts of the state, UV levels will soar to 16 and 17 in some regions.
It’s vital that all residents and tourists understand the risks of unsafe exposure to UV radiation – it can be lethal.
UV radiation causes sunburn, premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage leading to skin cancer.
It can cause unrepairable DNA damage and, with extreme exposure, cell death and the development of skin cancers.
According to the World Health Organization’s Global Solar UV Index, measures of UV radiation above 11 are considered extreme, with Queensland routinely rising above 11 during summer months.
It’s imperative that Queenslanders use sun protection whenever UV levels are three (moderate) or higher.
All Queenslanders, and tourists, are urged to follow our five recommended sun protective behaviours during the heatwave – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses.
Skin damage can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes during peak UV periods.
Where possible, people should avoid sun exposure – especially when the UV Index is three or above, from about 7:30am most days this week.
Queenslanders should also be aware that sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning may still damage skin cells.
Research suggests that regular exposure to UV radiation year after year can also lead to skin cancer.
Stay cool, stay SunSmart and for your own safety, get to know your UV.
Download the free SunSmart app to check UV levels in real time, anywhere in Australia.