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Health Focus: Toxins Produced from Excessive Ultraviolet Exposure

Ultraviolet (UV) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light. It is produced by the sun and can be created artificially using florescent lamps.

The UV rays from the sun include UVA and UVB, both of which are present in our atmosphere. The Ozone Layer, which covers the earth, helps regulate the levels of ultraviolet radiation, but unfortunately, increasing amounts of environmental toxins in our atmosphere have caused a steady depletion in this protective layer. As a result, increasing amounts of cancer causing UV radiation is reaching the Earth’s surface.

In large quantities, UV light is dangerous. Whether it’s created naturally or artificially, high levels of UV exposure can cause malignant melanomas. Studies show that women who go to tanning parlors are at 55% higher a risk for getting a melanoma, than women who wear fake tanning products. In addition to increasing one’s risk to developing cancer, people who subject themselves to tanning are also at a risk of suffering from a suppressed immune system.

To protect yourself from the adverse effects of UV rays, you should cover your skin when venturing outdoors. This includes wearing a hat, sleeves that cover your arms and shoulders, and proper sunglasses. And when outside, make sure to apply sunscreen with high SPF ratings.

If possible, avoid tanning parlors. If you do go, try to make use of natural light instead of the artificial UV rays, as this will reduce your chances of toxic exposure.