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Transcript of Movie: UV Radiation and UV Index

Video Audio

People swimming and sunbathing at beach on a sunny day

Sun, surf, ... and skin cancer.

UV radiation is no day at the beach.

Margaret Earlich, cancer patient, speaking

You know, you're young and you think, oh it's not going to happen to me.

Margaret Earlich walking into office

But Margaret Earlich was wrong.

Margaret Earlich speaking

I got the phone call that said you have a melanoma and it was pretty frightening.

Drusilla Hufford, of the US EPA, speaking

With skin cancer we know what causes it: it is UV radiation exposure.

Bright sun

Animation of UVC, UVB, UVA rays and Earth

Fortunately, even though it's damaged, the earth's ozone layer still acts as a sunscreen.

UVC rays never make it through to us.

But much of the UVB rays do.

And most of the UVA rays reach the earth.

Drusilla Hufford speaking

Despite our best efforts it is true that the ozone still remains compromised.

People playing golf (UVB)

Family at a picnic table next to a lake (UVA)

A person's arm with damaged skin (UVB and UVA)

The sun's UVB rays are the kind that are most likely to cause skin cancer.

UVA rays are known to age your skin, and now are known to contribute to skin cancer.

Dr. Harold Brody speaking

Most of the sunscreens are better at UVB protection than they are at UVA protection.

Bottles of sunscreen lotion on store shelves.

Closeup of “broad spectrum” on bottle

Closeup of SPF rating on bottle

To make sure you're blocking both UVA and UVB rays, carefully check the sunscreen bottles.

You're looking for a broad spectrum sunscreen that's at least a SPF 15.

Bicyclist riding on a rural road

And it helps to know where, and when, you're most at risk of getting a sunburn.

Drusilla Hufford speaking

It turns out the sun is much stronger around the noon hour.

UV meter displaying intensity values

People at the beach setting up an umbrella

Snow-covered mountains

Urban beach under bright sun filled with people

Man fishing, sun reflecting on water

Skier applying sunblock, snow in background

That's what this UV meter shows. The strength of the sun's radiation is greatest around midday.

UV radiation is also greater in the mountains, where the protective air is thinner.

And at the equator, where the sun is directly overhead.

And because water and snow reflect so much sunlight, UV radiation is stronger there too.

UV meter with “UV Index” superimposed

But you don't need to carry around a UV meter. All you need to do is check the UV Index.

Drusilla Hufford speaking

What's in it for you is that you'll find out before you go out tomorrow -- potentially without your sunscreen -- that you might need it.

Jeff Morrow of The Weather Channel talking about a map of UV Index forecast

The ultraviolet index forecast for tomorrow...

Detail view of The Weather Channel UV Index forecast map

UV Index forecast map with URL of EPA's SunWise Web site – www.epa.gov/sunwise

To find out how strong the UV rays will be tomorrow, watch the UV index on your weather broadcast, or look for it in the paper, or just click on the EPA's website.

It's something Margaret Ehrlich wishes she'd done.

Margaret Earlich speaking

People swimming on a sunny day

You think, "Why did I do that to myself?" These are things you can't erase and all it would have taken was just not being out there in the sun.

Logos of EPA and The Weather Channel over background of blue sky and mountains

For the weather channel, I'm Nick Walker.

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