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Ultra-Violet Radiation

The Australian Situation

Skin cancer is a real problem in Australia, and as a result the Government there have put a lot of resources into educating people about the dangers of “Sun worship”. This means that people are now very careful about how long they expose themselves to the Sun and keep covered up and use sun screen. Their catchphrases of “SunSmart – Save your Skin” and "Slip Slop Slap" (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat) have worked. They are considered one of any country's most successful campaigns for public awareness. Look at the  television commercial. See their  website.  

To think about:

What role do you think that governments should play in informing people about health issues?

The ALARA Principle

It is impossible to completely avoid all exposure to Ultra Violet radiation – to do so would be impractical. We would have to stay indoors all of the time or wear clothing covering the whole of our bodies whenever outside. The ALARA principle says that risks should be reduced “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”, and is usually associated with Ionising Radiation.  More info

To think about:

Do you think it is possible to apply this principle to UV radiation and protection from the Sun?

Next: The science


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Activity: Write a script for a short radio or television advert aimed at dissuading people from staying too long in the Sun. Should it be funny, shocking, scientific? Think carefully about what would persuade you. If you have the resources, why not try filming or recording what you have planned?

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