LETTER: A hot day is not the measure of sunburn

QUEENSLANDERS must think UV this Spring - not heat - after Cancer Council's National Sun Survey showed more than a third of adults are still confused about what causes sunburn.

When asked the most useful measure for determining their sunburn risk, 67 per cent of Queensland adults were able to correctly identify the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

However, 33 per cent of adults did not realise that UV radiation is the only cause of sunburn.

Some 18 per cent mistakenly claimed temperature as a useful measure of sunburn risk, 15 per cent thought cloud-cover, wind, or humidity could damage their skin and four per cent couldn't say.

The arrival of spring means Queenslanders need to be vigilant when heading outdoors.

It's vital to understand that UV radiation - not heat, wind, or sunlight - causes sunburn. These common misconceptions could result in long-term consequences for people failing to protect their skin from the harmful effects of UV. Exposure to UV radiation not only causes sunburn, but also premature ageing, damage to the eyes, and can lead to skin cancer later in life.

Sun protection is required when the UV Index level is three or above - in Queensland, that is all seasons, all year. It's imperative for Queenslanders to follow the five recommended sun protective behaviours when heading outdoors this spring.

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 sunnies when outdoors to best reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Queensland, the Sunshine State, is the skin cancer capital of the world.

More than 3600 Queenslanders are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and it is estimated

KATIE CLIFT

Cancer Council



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