Ultraviolet radiation

Every year about 25,500 Dutch skin cancer, of whom about 650 die. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun is probably the main cause. The dossier UV ozone layer and climate gives more information about UV exposure and health effects.

Health and UV radiation
By overexposure to UV radiation within hours to burn the skin and snow blindness. In the long term exposure to UV radiation causes accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. Chronic eye exposure can cause clouding of the lens (cataract). UV also has positive effects on humans. UV radiation is vitamin D in the skin that is essential for proper bone formation. Recent research indicates that vitamin D could work on inhibiting the development of other cancers.

Effects of UV radiation
Ultraviolet radiation not only affects human health. UV also affects the food chain and ecosystems, both aquatic and terrestrial. UV rays weaken and bleached materials such as paints and plastics.

Measuring and modeling UV radiation
RIVM in Bilthoven measure continuously the amount of UV radiation. From satellite measurements and models, the UV irradiance calculated everywhere on earth. RIVM uses these calculations, together with scenarios for the development of the ozone layer for future effects on health and environment to assess. Skin cancer is taken as the central theme.

What is the UV index?
The UV index, also called UV index indicates how much solar radiation can burn the skin. The higher the UV index, the faster you burn. The UV index is highest at high sun position, as the ozone layer is thin and a little cloudy. In the Netherlands late June, early July, the highest UV index measured. About 4 times a year, the UV index above 7. The last eleven years is only two days worth over 8 measured. In midwinter, the sun radiation in the Netherlands less than 0.5.