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February 17, 2021

Personal UV monitor helps control sun exposure

Getting the right amount of sun exposure so you don’t overdo it and get burnt but do get natural doses of vitamin D, is easier to manage with a novel Australian device, the U-B-Safe UV monitor.

The ‘slip, slop, slap’ sun safe message has been drummed into Australians for the last 30 years, and people have responded by wearing a shirt, hat and sunscreen. But despite this behaviour local rates of skin cancer rates are still the highest in the world.

uv monitor girl

One of the problems people have with trying to protect themselves from the sun is that it is so variable. The level of UV radiation changes through the day, and from day to day.  The right amount of sunscreen one day, may not be enough the next.

Other factors such as latitude, ozone, how much you have been sweating, how long you have been in the water, reflection from surfaces, and time of year can all affect UV levels.

Sunscreens don’t let people know how long they will be effective for or when it is mistakenly not applied, according to the West Australian inventors of the U-B-Safe UV monitor.

The U-B-Safe measures the UV radiation a person is receiving and then sends them a signal when their time is up.

The device is small enough to be attached to a hat and can be programmed to protect different skin types.

uv sun monitor

uv monitor manThey are water resistant, very easy to use and, of course, solar powered.

By providing an exact measure of UV exposure they also allow users to forego sunscreen, in the right circumstance, and thereby give them an opportunity to get a natural dose of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is absorbed in the body from sunshine, and deficiency is thought to contribute to diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, according to professor Rebecca Mason, from the University of Sydney.

“Vitamin D is essential for optimal bone and muscle function, and may protect against a range of diseases,” she said.

“Although most Australians are aware of the importance of protection against the sun’s harmful rays, it is not advisable to stay out of the sun completely, because it is a major source of vitamin D for most people.

“A device that helps people maintain a balance between too little and too much sun would be very useful,” Mason said.

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