Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. And ultraviolet, or UV, rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. How much do you know about the dangers of the sun and ultraviolet rays? Take our quiz and rate yourself.
UV Safety Quiz
Ultraviolet wavelengths are classified as UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays account for as much as 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays, but UVA rays have long been known to play a major role in skin aging and wrinkling, and studies in the past 2 decades have shown they damage skin cells in the layer where most skin cancers occur.
UVB rays are the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tending to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. But UVB rays can play a key role in the development of skin cancer.
UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the Earth.
There are 3 main sun-protective behaviors – using sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing, seeking shade. What percent of adults say they usually practice at least 1 of the 3 behaviors?
Answer: 56 percent
What percentage of high school girls say they use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher when they are outside for more than an hour on a sunny day?
Answer: 11 percent
What percentage of high school boys report that they stay in the shade, wear long pants, wear a long-sleeved shirt or wear a hat shading their face, ears and neck when they are out for more than an hour on a sunny day?
Answer: 20 percent
Although using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is likely to provide strong protection, other factors can affect protection. The SPF rating helps determine, based on an individual’s skin coloring, how much longer a person can remain in the sun without getting a burn. For example, a fair-skinned person who might last 15 minutes in the sun before burning can go 30 times longer using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 before burning, meaning they could be in the sun for 7½ hours. But that doesn’t take into account sweating, swimming or other activities that could reduce the sunscreen’s effectiveness.
Sunscreens were originally designed to protect against UVB rays. In recent years, ingredients have been developed to help provide protection against UVA rays, but there is no criteria for measuring and labeling the amount of that defense. You can, however, check the label of sunscreens today to see if they at least offer UVA protection.
Which of the following are symptoms of sunburn? A. Red, tender skin that is warm to touch B. Blisters that develop hours to days later C. Fever, chills, nausea or rash D. All of the above.
Answer: D. All of the above
The most dangerous time to be out in the sun is: A. 7 am to noon B. 9 am to 2 pm C. 11 am to 3 pm D. Noon to 5 pm
Answer: C. 11 am to 3 pm
True or False. It is better to wear bright or dark-colored clothes than pastels and bleached cottons.
Dark or bright colors tend to reflect more UV radiation than pastels or bleached cottons.
True or False. People who start using tanning booths at a young age are more likely to develop melanoma.
Recent research has shown that using tanning beds before age 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.