Added by Gary Dunn on October 6, 2011
A new study by scientists at London’s Kings College found that sunlight streaming through windows may increase the risk of skin cancer.
The study investigated the effects of the Ultraviolet A (UVA) component of sunlight which does not cause your skin to burn. Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation causes sunburns and is blocked by sunscreens, yet UVA, which makes up 75% of sunlight has the potential to cause skin cancer.
Windows filter out 100% of UVB radiation, which is why you cannot get a sunburn when you are behind a window, yet researchers found that windows allow 100% of UVA ration through. UVA radiation damages the deeper layer of the skin where new skin cells are created and where some types of skin cancer originate.
The research also highlights the dangers of using a sunbed, which now has the additional risk of exposing people that use sunbeds to potentially dangerous UVA – sunbeds emit mostly UVA.
Researchers also said that UVA levels are at their highest at dawn and dusk – the times that many people go outside during the summer.
About 80% of all newly diagnosed skin cancers in Australia are skin cancers.