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What are UV Rays?

The sun is the source of all energy on earth, and the rays from the sun can be differentiated according to their length into ultraviolet rays, visible light, infrared, and others. Of these rays, the ultraviolet rays are absorbed by the ozone and other gases when entering our atmosphere so as not to cause negative effects on the health of humans. As our ozone is gradually destroyed by man-made pollutants its' absorption rate is decreased, causing UV rays to increase in strength and bring negative effects to the human body on days when there are no clouds in the sky.

What are UV Rays?
Physical Attributes Longest length: 400~315nm Second longest length: 315~280nm Shortest length: 280~100nm
Radiation when reaching earth's surface 98.9% of UV 1.1% of UV Near zero
Relationship with ozone Can pass through the ozone Mostly absorbed by ozone, but increasing due to damaged ozone Absorbed by ozone
Note Can pass through glass to indoor areas and cars. Sun lights and beauty salon UV lights both contain UV-A. Affect on human health is more apparent  

The Relationship Between UV Rays and the Ozone

In 1985 the British scientist Joe Farman discovered a rapid decline in the ozone over the South Pole and since then studies related to holes in the ozone layer have garnered more interest. The decline in the ozone layer and the increase in UV ray strength on earth's surface are both problems that will cause headaches for mankind in the future.

The Relationship Between UV Rays and the Ozone

UV Ray Index Monitoring Stations

UV Ray Index Monitoring Stations

UV Ray Index Point of Reports

  • Northern Points: Keelung City, Taipei City, Taipei County, Taoyuan City, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli City, Miaoli County.
  • Mid Points: Taichung City, Taichung County, Changhua City, Changhua County, Nantou City, Nantou County, Yunlin Doulio, Yunlin County.
  • Southern Points: Chiayi City, Chiayi County, Tainan City, Tainan County, Kaoshiung City, Kaoshiung County, Pingtun City, Pingtun County.
  • Eastern Points: Taitung City, Taitung County, Hualian City, Hualian County, Yilan City, Yilan County.
  • Island Points: Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu, Green Island, Lanyu, Little Okinawa.
  • Vacation Points: Yang Ming Mountain, Longdong, Shito, Yushan, Hehuanshan、Lishan, Taroko, Alishan、Sun Moon Lake, Taipingshan、Sanhsientai, Kenting.
UV Ray Index Point of Reports

UV Rays and Health

Description Symptom and Exposure Information Commonly Occurring Areas Symptoms
Melanoma Watch for especially in children Upper back of adults, the legs of females Irregular pigmentation with scaly growth, secretion, bleeding sarcoma, exterior changes come with pain and itching
Non-malignant melanoma Basal cell carcinoma (B), Squamous cell carcinoma (S) related to chronic UV exposure Area around the ears, face, lips, and hands. Could puncture skin and damage bones in light skinned people. Squamous erythema disease can spread to other regions.
Solar Keratosis Mainly caused by UV exposure Hands, forearms, V area around neck Pre-transformation form of melanoma, thicker skin, reddening, toughening of skin.
Cataracts and Others Pterygium, skin cancer around the eyes, mutation and deterioration of retina Lens, around the eyes Lucidity of lens can be damaged and lead to blindness
Damage to Immune System 24 hour exposure will lead to the weakening of white blood cells   Over-exposure, even in dark skinned people can damage the immune system.

UV Index, Levels, and Protection

The Environmental Protection Administration uses the Ultra-Violet Ray Index (UVI) to determine the strength of UV rays to help the public gain a better understanding. Next day UVI has been reported since July of 1998 to remind the public to take suitable precautions.

UVI Exposure Level Sunburn Time Preventative Measures
0~2 Low    
3~5 Moderate    
6~7 High Within 30 min hats/umbrellas+sunscreen+sunglasses+stay in shadows
8~10 Very high Within 20 min hat/umbrella+sunscreen+sunglasses+stay in shadows+long sleeve shirts+stay indoors from 10 AM to 2 PM
11+ Extreme Within 15 min hat/umbrella+sunscreen+sunglasses+stay in shadows+long sleeve shirts+stay indoors from 10 AM to 2 PM

Measures to Prevent from UV Ray Damage

  1. Watch the UVI report
  2. Damage can occur from snowy plains, beaches, and mountainous regions
  3. Avoid using solar lights and artificial tanning booths
  4. Take suitable physical preventative measures, such as clothes, hats, umbrellas, sunglasses, and others
  5. Continuous application of a suitable amount of sunscreen
  6. Avoidance is the best measure. Avoid activities from 10 AM to 2 PM

How to obtain updated UV index information

1. EPA forecast release schedule

  1. Current Value
    The EPA will post the current hour’s UV index on the website for the public every day.
  2. Forecast Value
    The EPA will post the next day forecast of UV index for all regions on the web site for the public at 5 p.m. every day, that updated with the forecast weather condition at 10:30 a.m. next day.

(2) How to obtain UV index information

  1. EPA website:http://www.epa.gov.tw
  2. EPA issues UVI on the Plurk、Twitter and facebook also. (Username:epa_uv)
  3. Download the App (Taiwan UV Index) on smart phone or Tablet PC in Android system.
  4. Take attention on Newspaper, radio broadcast, television, and medias.

last update : 2019/11/27