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Is sunbathing good for you?

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Is sunbathing good for you?




Why do people sunbathe?                                                                       2                                                    

About ultra violet radiation                                                                     2                                                              

Vitamin D from sunlight                                                                         3

Does ultraviolet radiation cause any harm?                                            3                             Melanin in the skin                                                                                 4

Skin cancer from the sun                                                                        5

Conclusion                  6

Bibliography        6

Why are people worried about sunbathing?



Why do people sunbathe?


Many people sunbathe to look attractive. Also to relax and generally get a tan. But a lot of people don’t know the science behind sunbathing. When sunbathing, ultra violet radiation enters your body as the skin absorbs it. Too much of this can cause damage and even cause you skin cancer.

The diagram on the left shows and intersection of the sun and the different layers within the inside.  


In the electromagnetic spectrum the shorter the wavelength, the more energetic the radiation and the greater the potential for harm.image10.png

Ultra violet waves are electromagnetic waves. It is a form of energy travelling through space.This is the portion of theelectromagnetic spectrum extending from the violet, or short-wavelength, end of the visible light range to the X-ray region. Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the human eye.

The sun is a major source of ultraviolet rays. Though the sun emits all of the different kinds of electromagnetic radiation, 99% of its rays are in the form of visible light, ultraviolet rays, and infrared rays (also known as heat). Man-made lamps can also emit UV radiation, and are often used for experimental purposes.

Light enables us to see, and heat keeps us from being cold.

...read more.


These are all benefits of ultraviolet light from sunlight, but will only good in moderation.

Does ultraviolet light cause any harm?

There are different viewpoints from scientistsimage02.png

regarding this question.image11.png



These are two opposing statements. They both support their opinions by either using evidence or just reasons.  

What should people be aware of?

We should all try not to get burnt in the sun and to be aware of the damage it can do to our skin. But some people need to be particularly careful. You should be particularly careful about going out in the sun if you:

  • Are fair skinned
  • Have lots of moles          
  • Have a close relative who has had melanoma

Melanin in the skin

Human skin colour can range from almost black to nearly colorless (appearing pinkish white due to the blood in the skin) in different people. The colour of skin depends primarily on a pigment called melanin. It is also influenced by the blood flow through the skin. Melanin is a pigment produced by special cells called melanocytes that manufacture packets of melanin called melanosomes and transfer them to the skin cells of the epidermis the keratinocytes.

In general, people with ancestors from tropical regions (hence greater sunlight exposure) have darker skin than people with ancestors from subtropical regions.

Melanin pigmentation in humans is of two types. The constitutive colour is that which is genetically determined without the effect ofsunshine. The other is inducible skin colour or tan as a consequence of sun exposure. Other factors can darken skin, some hormones e.g.

...read more.



While sunbathing people must take the following precautions –

Where hats to protect your head

Stay in the sum for reasonable amounts of time

Where clothing

Use high factor sun cream (factor 15 filters out 93% of sun's harmful rays)

The government are trying to make actions that will help reduce the rate of skin cancer’s in the UK. But there are groups and firms that do things too. The CDC (Centres for Disease Control) have done various things to try help reduce these figures such as: providing health education to students, involving students’ families, training health care professionals and various other things. Improvements like this are helping the overall situation with skin cancer.


I used information from the text book: Twenty First Century GCSE Science – higher: chapter P2, Radiation and life p150.

I also used information from the following websites. I tried not to use any websites that promote a product or want you to buy something for example a certain sun cream as there would be biased views.

I took an explanation of a study happening in Sydney looking at the relationship between mole formation in children and their exposure to sunlight.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070115/text/70115w0019.htm (information in graph)


 picture of the sun next to explanation ‘why do people sunbathe?’

(Twenty first century science, GCSE, higher p150)





...read more.

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