Keep an eye on the UV Index
14th June 2023
The UV Index (or UVI) is a standard international measure of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun – which penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere and can cause sunburn. Index values start at zero and then can rise above 10.
The higher the UVI, the greater the potential for damage to the skin and eyes – and also the less time it takes for harm to occur. Over exposure of UV can lead to serious health issues such as skin cancers and eye damage that could result in cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.
The highest readings occur in the four-hour period around midday. Countries close to the equator can experience very high UV levels in the middle of the day throughout the year for example Nairobi in Kenya can see UV levels above 10 all year whilst Majorca in Spain, will normally hit nine in June and July. Here in the UK, UV levels reach their peak in the next few weeks. It used to be that an index of 8 in the UK was rare but now it’s more common and in the current dry spell we could even see it reach 9 in some parts of southern England and South Wales. The graphic shows the Index and when precautions should be taken; protection means wearing hats, sunglasses, applying suncream and light clothing to cover skin.