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Fun in the Sun: The UV Index scale and SPF explained

As you try to beat the heat this summer, you'll be battling more than just heat. You'll also have to combat the Sun's harmful UV rays. The Sun is a star that emits radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Most of this radiation reaches Earth as visible light and that is why we are able to see, however, the Sun also emits rays we cannot see.  Ultraviolet radiation, or UV radiation, is a band that we cannot see but can certainly affect our day to day lives. Our bodies need UV radiation in order to produce Vitamin D, but too much UV exposure can lead to skin damage. The UV Index is a linear scale used to express the amount of...

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Why SPF 100 Sunscreen Isn’t as Great as You Think It Is.

BY MARTY MUNSON The sun’s bright, and today’s adventure—whether it’s sitting at a game, sweating out a bike ride, or just hanging out at the beach—requires a sunscreen that’s not going to fail you. So you reach for the highest SPF (“sun protection factor”) number you can find. Because if slathering on a sunscreen that contains an SPF 50 allows you to stay out 50 times longer in the sun than you normally would without getting a sunburn, then wearing one that’s labeled SPF 100 is much more effective, right? Theoretically, yes. But the real-world answer is that it’s a little more complicated. The Environmental Working Group points out that super-high SPFs don’t actually block out that many more skin-damaging...

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Sun Safety: What to Know About Protecting Yourself

 Spring is finally here, and many parts of the country are already experiencing warmer weather. It’s easy to associate vigilant sun protection with summertime, when the sun is shining intensely. This shouldn’t be the case: Sun protection is necessary every day, regardless of the weather or time of year. “Even when it’s cold or overcast, UV rays that cause skin aging and skin cancer are reaching your skin,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “In the right winter weather conditions, you can sustain sun damage just as easily as during the summer.” Winter Sunlight UVB rays, the main cause of sunburn, are the strongest in the summer. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round,...

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Tracing a Wave’s Epic Journey From Tiny Ripple to What You Surf On

By the time a wave reaches shore, it may have traveled tens of thousands of kilometers. Photo: Ian Mitchinson / Shutterstock Where do those waves come from? How do they form, and why do they break? It’s likely you have a vague understanding, but as it turns out, what we see at the shore is just the last few moments of an epic journey. Great Waves From Tiny Ripples Grow The waves we see crashing on the beach can begin their lives tens of thousands of kilometers away. Surface waves, as they are known, are born when the wind blows over the ocean, amplifying small ripples and transferring momentum from the atmosphere to the water. The height of the wave...

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