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Next entry: Fashion in Uxbridge (Part 2)

Previous entry: Friends of the Earth

Thursday, 24 May 2007
Fashion in Uxbridge (Part 1)


Much as we love the sun, we all know how sunburn hurts.  More serious, sunburn and too much sun cause skin cancers, some of which can be fatal.  The risk of sunburn and skin cancers such as melanoma seems to be increasing, because air pollution is reducing the layer of atmospheric ozone which normally shields us from most of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.  Damage to the ozone layer is allowing the sun to cause more sunburn than sunshine used to cause.  People need to get bright light without increasing their risk of sunburn.

Fortunately, you can get plenty of light without sunburn.  The benefits of light for depression, the body clock, and sleep, seem to come through the eyes.  There is no need for any sun at all to fall on the skin, so from my point of view, long sleeves, long pants, and a hat are just fine for people who want to get their bright light outdoors.  Sun screen may help.  There is no evidence that light hitting the skin is antidepressant.

I have also explained that bright light in the early morning or just before sundown is often the best for the body clock.  From the moment the sun rises above the horizon (at least if it is a clear day), the light is bright enough to do you some good and keep you from wilting.  These morning and evening times are therefore particularly good times to get outdoors in daylight, possibly even more effective than mid-day for most people.  Unfortunately, the minute the sun goes below the horizon, the twilight grows too dim to be useful.  Oddly enough, the ultraviolet rays which cause sunburn are scattered more by the atmosphere and absorbed more by ozone than are the visible colors of light which make up sunlight.  As a consequence, the strong ultraviolet which causes sunburn is only present when the sun is almost overhead.  The greatest risk of sunburn is between 10 AM and 3 PM.  There is little risk of sunburn before 10 AM or after 3 PM.  For these reasons, I recommend that people try to get most their daylight exposures before 10 AM or after 3 PM, except in the winter, when the sun is low even at noon.  The risk of sunburn is less important, of course, for those using long sleeves and a hat or sun screen for protection.

Except in winter, if you would like to get your daylight exposure at mid-day, consider sitting in the shade.  Since it is light entering the eyes which is important for your mood, not what falls upon your skin, your eyes usually see plenty of sunshine even when you are sitting in the shade.  Also, in most sunny weather (except very dark rainforests), even shade is several thousand lux during daylight, and therefore the light is helpful.

[from: Brighten your life]

I reckon too much sunlight can affect your sense of fashion.

Posted by bigblue on 24/05/2007 at 10:26 PM
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