Geology 108- Crises of a Planet
16 October 2007
Awareness of UV exposure, effects, and protection for the 21
century is a time marked by ozone depletion, mass urban pollution, and
industrial production. As a result of our changing environment, UV exposure has increased, thus
putting the world and ourselves at risk. This paper explores what UV rays are, when UV rays are
most harmful, the damages they can cause, and most importantly, how we can protect ourselves
from them. UV rays are ultraviolet radiation waves, which are intensified by factors such as
ozone depletion, season, weather conditions, and altitude. Although sunlight, which causes our
bodies to produce vitamin D, is essential to our bodies, too much exposure can cause much harm.
Both UVA and UVB light has the potential to alter our DNA and cause skin cancer, the most
common cancer in the United States. Other possible effects could include sunburn, premature
aging, damages to the immune system, and damages to the eyes that could result in blindness.
We can begin better protecting ourselves though selecting higher quality sunglasses, sunscreen,
and clothing. This essay explores these three accessible means of sun protection, which can be
easily incorporated, into a new sun-safe lifestyle.