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You don't have to burn to get too much sun

点击量:   时间:2019-03-07 07:10:05

By Fred Pearce CONFIRMATION of the increasing danger of sunburn and skin cancer as a result of the depleted ozone layer has come from a study by the UN Environment Programme. Last summer, peak levels of UV-B— the form of ultraviolet that causes sunburn and malignant melanoma —were 12 per cent higher in New Zealand than they were at the start of the decade. UNEP describes the findings as the strongest evidence yet of increased UV-B radiation through ozone depletion. It also says that the results are likely to be representative of similar latitudes elsewhere in the southern and northern hemispheres. Meanwhile, studies also reported by UNEP show that keeping sunburn at bay may not be enough for parents wanting to protect their young children from the sun. A study of opossums has shown that doses of UV-B lower than those needed to cause sunburn in their young offspring can lead to widespread melanoma in later life. Shafqat Khakakel, UNEP deputy executive director, underlined the threat when he told the conference that the current effort to rein in ozone-depleting chemicals had prevented some 20 million cases of skin cancer—but that millions more cases are likely before the chemicals have been eliminated. More on these topics: