Why UV protection is becoming increasingly important
With the impending climate change, protection from the sun is becoming increasingly important. Climatic changes lead to increased UV radiation hitting the earth's surface and thus also our skin and eyes. In cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) has therefore expanded its information portal "Klima-Mensch-Gesundheit" to include the topic of UV radiation and UV protection.
The health consequences of climate change
"Excessive UV radiation promotes the development of skin cancer. Current data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany show that this danger is increasing. In 2020, there were about 81% more hospital treatments because of skin cancer than there were in 2000. Sun protection is therefore becoming increasingly important. The BZgA provides information on how climate change affects UV radiation and gives recommendations on how people can protect themselves from sun damage", says Prof. Dr Martin Dietrich, Acting Director of the BZgA:
From information to prevention of UV damage
"Because of the climate crisis, health risks from UV radiation are increasing in Germany as well. Our studies show that people know the risks of UV radiation but do not always act accordingly. Joint information services contribute to sustainably anchoring the topic of UV protection in the public awareness. With a view to their own living environment, citizens will find many suggestions for taking the prevention of UV damage into their own hands", says Dr Inge Paulini, President of the BfS.
Climate change is altering the cloud situation over Germany; the average number of sunshine hours per year is thus increasing. As a result, people are spending more time outdoors - and thus increasing their exposure to UV radiation. However, without protection, UV radiation causes numerous immediate and long-term diseases of the skin and eyes such as sunburn, skin cancer, conjunctivitis, corneal inflammation, and cataracts.
UV protection in schools and day care centres
On the BZgA information portal, citizens can find quality-checked and independent information on UV radiation and protection as well as the interrelationships with climate change. UV protection is particularly important for children as well as those who work or spend a lot of time outdoors. In addition to tips on the appropriate behaviour, the website provides information on how living environments can be designed to be sun-friendly - for example, by using awnings or natural shade providers such as trees - and thus offer protection against UV radiation. This is especially important for day care centres and schools.
Adaptation to climate change and climate protection is a cross-cutting social task and requires the expertise and strengths of all actors. The BZgA has therefore prepared the contents on UV radiation and protection in cooperation with the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). The aim is to provide comprehensive information on the interrelationships between UV radiation and climate change, tips on how to take action, and orientation on further services.