With commercialization, global warming is becoming an alarming issue. Due to global warming the ozone layer is being depleted as a result of the penetration of harmful UV rays on earth.
In a conversation with Fit Northeast, renowned dermatologist from Guwahati, Dr. Bhargav Bhuyan said, "In the earlier days people did not have so many issues related to skin. These days sun-burns or climate-related allergies are very common among people. It is all due to climate change and more exposure to the sun. Even though various protections like umbrellas and sunscreens are used, nothing can give 100% protection from the harmful rays of the sun for a long time. In many cases, it is seen that the exposure to the sun for a longer time also causes skin cancer".
Technology has proven to be a boon after the invention of the SunSmart Global UV app. This special app provides five-day UV and weather forecasts at searchable locations. The new mobile app launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations environment programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) is capable in highlighting time slots when sun protection is required and hence aim to protect our skin and eyes from the ill-effects of the UV rays.
The SunSmart Global UV app is available free of charge at both the Apple App and Google Play stores. This application provides personalized options so that users can take action to protect against prolonged, excessive UV exposure, a major cause of skin cancer and other UV-related diseases. The app is currently operating in several languages Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Dutch and Spanish.
The app is based on the UV Index, which describes the level of solar UV radiation at the earth's surface. The UV Index is reported on a scale of 1 (or "Low") to 11 and higher (or "Extreme"). The higher the index value, the greater the potential for damage to the skin and eye, and the less time it takes for harm to occur. The maximum UV Index is at the solar noon when the sun is highest in the sky. Adapting outdoor activities and using sun protection are recommended when the UV Index is 3 or above. UV damage is cumulative and UV can be harmful when people are exposed for long periods " even at low levels.
Technology has proven to be a been a boon after the invention of the SunSmart Global UV app. This special app provides five-day UV and weather forecasts at searchable locations."Evidence shows that over-exposure to UV is the major cause of skin cancer. So it's vital for people to know when and how to protect themselves," said Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.
Data reveals that it is estimated that over 1.5 million cases of skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma combined) were diagnosed globally in 2020. During the same period, more than 1,20,000 people across the world lost their lives to this highly preventable disease. "The Montreal Protocol protects the stratospheric ozone layer, which in turn protects human health and the environment by blocking most of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth's surface. Skin cancer can result from overexposure to the sun, so it is imperative for everyone to remain vigilant and ensure they protect themselves adequately with hats and sunscreen.
The SunSmart app is a fantastic UV monitoring tool, and I would encourage everyone to use it," advises Ms. Meg Seki, Executive Secretary of UNEP's Ozone Secretariat.
It is important to note that the sun is extremely essential for the body as it helps in the production of vitamin D and promotes better bone development and gives protection from issues like rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
The UV App has been launched to coincide with the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. By increasing the public's awareness and helping to reduce the incidence of skin cancer, this application ultimately supports the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being worldwide by 2030.