Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. And ultraviolet, or UV, rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. How much do you know about the dangers of the sun and ultraviolet rays? Take our quiz and rate yourself.
UV Safety Quiz
Ultraviolet wavelengths are classified as UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays account for as much as 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, but UVA rays have long been known to play a major role in skin aging and wrinkling, and studies in the past 2 decades have shown they damage skin cells in the layer where most skin cancers occur.
UVB rays are the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tending to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. But UVB rays can play a key role in the development of skin cancer.
UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the Earth.
Answer: 56 percent
Answer: 11 percent
Answer: 20 percent
Although using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is likely to provide strong protection, other factors can affect protection. The SPF rating helps determine, based on an individual’s skin coloring, how much longer a person can remain in the sun without getting a burn. For example, a fair-skinned person who might last 15 minutes in the sun before burning can go 30 times longer using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 before burning, meaning they could be in the sun for 7½ hours. But that doesn’t take into account sweating, swimming or other activities that could reduce the sunscreen’s effectiveness.
Sunscreens were originally designed to protect against UVB rays. In recent years, ingredients have been developed to help provide protection against UVA rays, but there is no criteria for measuring and labeling the amount of that defense. You can, however, check the label of sunscreens today to see if they at least offer UVA protection.
Answer: D. All of the above
Answer: C. 11 am to 3 pm
Dark or bright colors tend to reflect more UV radiation than pastels or bleached cottons.
Recent research has shown that using tanning beds before age 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.