UV Safety Takes on New Importance in the Time of COVID-19Ultraviolet (UV) light has frequently been in the news lately. According to an article in WebMD, UV light has been used for decades to kill bacteria and viruses. Its use is common in hospitals to cut down on the spread of drug-resistant superbugs and to disinfect surgical suites. UV light is also very effective in killing coronaviruses. As a result, there is increased interest in using UV light technology to disinfect airplanes, schools, office buildings and restaurants. But the very characteristics of UV light, which make it so effective in killing germs, can also cause cancer by destroying our DNA.
Does Sunlight Really Kill Coronavirus?These has been hope and a lot of discussion around the possibility that sunlight can kill the virus that causes COVID-19. All of the hype on social media led the World Health Organization (WHO) to add a “myth busters” page on its website. It says: “Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent nor cure the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.” The following is a downloadable graphic from WHO you can use:
UV Safety AwarenessJuly is promoted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as UV Safety Awareness Month. With the restrictions on activity from the coronavirus pandemic, people and families are more eager than ever to get outside and enjoy the sun and warmer weather. As a hospital marketer, this is a good time to remind your community of the connection between ultraviolet (UV) light and cancers of the skin, eye and lip, and to educate people about effective UV protection.
The 5S’s of Sun SafetyThe Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity (SKCIN) organization for preventing skin cancer recommends the follow simple steps to reduce the risk of skin cancer:
- SLIP on a t-shirt
- SLOP on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA sunscreen
- SLAP on a broad brimmed hat
- SLIDE on quality sunglasses
- SHADE from the sun whenever possible