Beach Umbrellas don't Protect Against Solar Radiation

Summer brings people to go outside and get plenty of sunshine. But it can sometime be too hot that some people may get sunburn. In order to avoid it, people try to stay in cool shades like under beach umbrellas. But recent research has shown that beach umbrellas may not be able to provide the protection against solar radiation that some people may expect.

According to researchers from the University of Valencia in Spain, as much as 34 percent of ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun can reach the ground that is covered by a beach umbrella. The reason for this is because the beach umbrella can catch almost all of the direct rays of the sun but is unable to filter out the diffused radiation that comes through from the sides. This may indicate that even under a beach umbrella it is possible for people to be affected by UV light that is also known to cause sunburn and skin cancer.

In conducting the said study, the researchers placed a UV ray sensor at the base of a blue and white canvas beach umbrella with a radius of 80 centimeters or 12 inches and a height of 1.5 meters. The umbrella was able to intercept direct radiation coming from the sun but fails to block the diffused radiation which makes up about 60 percent of the total. The diffused radiation from the sky that was not covered by the umbrella was still able to reach the sensor. In order to provide better protection against the harmful radiation from the sun, doctors recommend using sun creams as well as staying out of the sun when it is at its highest.



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