C-FERST Issue Profile: Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
Ozone layer depletion decreases the Earth’s natural protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds can cause a variety of health problems, including skin cancer. In fact, more new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. Unprotected exposure to UV radiation is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
Over-exposure to UV radiation can also prematurely age skin and cause other skin damage; contribute to the development of cataracts and other eye damage; and suppress the immune system.
The SunWise program, developed by EPA and now managed by the National Environmental Education Foundation, provides resources to educate children and their caretakers about the health risks of UV radiation and how to protect against excessive exposure.
Visit the resources below to learn more about UV radiation, how to protect the Earth’s ozone layer, and how to prevent over-exposure to UV radiation.