Health chiefs issue sunburn warning

A sunburn warning has been issued after the detection of unusually high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation across the UK.

Public health chiefs say that it is unusual to see UV at such levels at this time of year, especially after such a cold spring.

When UV levels are high, there is a greater potential for those in direct sunlight to suffer sunburn – which can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Dr John O’Hagan, from Public Health England (PHE), said: “Seeing UV at these levels at this time of year is unusual especially after so cold a spring so it’s important that people consider what steps they can take to minimise their risk of burning.

“Of course we all enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine and it’s important that people do carry on enjoying the warm weather, we just don’t want people to suffer from the unusually high UV levels we’re observing.”

It is important to remember cloud cover does not protect against UV, he said.

PHE is advising people to minimise their exposure when the sun is likely to be at its strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

And for those who are outdoors for long periods of the day, the recommendation is to use shade, clothing and sunscreen to reduce exposure.

To find out more about UV, you can visit PHE’s UV radiation Frequently Asked Questions page and the ultraviolet radiation page or see Cancer Research UK’s Sunsmart.