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New E-mail UV Alert System Joins Fight Against Skin Cancer

Release Date: 08/04/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(8/4/05) E-mail has joined shade, sunblock, sunglasses, and protective clothing as the latest tool to fight skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Registering for the new UV Alert system takes just a few clicks on EPA's Web site.

EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS) developed and launched the UV Alert system -- a free service that notifies e-mail subscribers when solar UV radiation and the risk of overexposure is predicted to be unusually high. Based on the NWS's daily UV Index forecasts, the system delivers warnings directly to e-mail in-boxes across the country.

Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun is a preventable contributor to skin cancer and other serious health effects.

The UV Index is a measure of the amount of skin-damaging UV radiation reaching the earth's surface. Currently, NWS's UV Index forecasts provide information about UV intensity during the solar noon hour of the following day. The UV Index informs people when rays will be strongest and provides suggestions on how best to protect themselves from the harmful rays.

UV Alerts are expected to be more frequent from spring through fall and in parts of the country where the amount of sunlight often varies. The NWS and EPA provide daily UV Index forecasts for 58 major metropolitan areas and by ZIP Code. The UV Index forecast is available online at:, where visitors can register to receive the free e-mail UV Alerts.