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Should we spend time in the sun?

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Humayun Rashid

Should we spend time in the Sun?

This essay will revolve around the question ‘Should we spend time in the Sun?’ The advantages and disadvantages of staying in the Sun will be discussed. How staying in the sun plays a role in people’s social life and the economy will also be highlighted.

The Sun affects the skin because of the ultra violet light it gives off. UV light are generally divided in three kinds according to wavelength, UVC has the shortest wavelength (of 100mm- 290mm) then its UVB which has the medium wavelength (of 290mm- 320mm). And then there’s UVA which has the longest wavelength (of 320mm- 400mm). (Source 4)

UVC radiation given off by the Sun really doesn’t affect humans at all because it is almost completely adsorbed by the ozone layer. However, only 90% of UVB light is absorbed by the ozone layer. So the UVB that does get through the effects the skin (the epidermis) causing sun burns. (Source 2)

Furthermore, the ozone layer has no effect on UVA light. The ray penetrates deep into the skin affecting the deeper layers. The change it causes can lead to photo aging and skin cancer.

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Number of new cases of malignant melanoma (UK 2006)




Rate per 100,000 population*




Number of deaths from malignant melanoma (UK 2007)




Rate per 100,000 population*




Five-year survival rate for malignant melanoma (for patients diagnosed 2001-2006**, England)




The graph below shows mortality rates from malignant melanoma by gender since 1971 to 2007 .Since1986 there have been more male deaths compared to the record of female mortality.

image01.png(Source 8)

The numbers of deaths and the age-specific rates are shown below. The mortality rates rise steadily with age. There are more male deaths than female between the ages 30-79. From 80 onwards the number of female death increases as male deaths decreases. From the first graph in this essay you can see that the number of cases of malignant melanomais higher in females than in males. Hence it is visible that even though there are more cases of malignant melanoma in females, the number of deaths is still higher in males. From this information you can conclude that females can handle this skin cancer better than males. (Source 8)


Furthermore another effect of UV light on our skin is aging.  Research shows that there are two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit, this is called intrinsic (internal) aging.

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Source 3: news.bbc.co.uk

This source is reliable since it is an government funded organisation however like Sky they could sometimes be bias.

Source 3: www.skincarephysicians.com

This source is not as well known as the sources mentioned so far however the information on the website is all medical information which is not wrong. So it is a reliable source.

Source 4: en.allexperts.com

This source is not well known however there is information on it which is the same as the information on the OCR materials so it is most likely that the rest of the information is reliable. So this source is reliable.

Source 5: en.wikipedia.org

This source is not so reliable because anyone can edit the information however the information taken from it seems to be valid.

Source 6: www.cancerbackup.org.uk

This source is not well known however the information on this website has been proven by a doctor to be valid there for this source is reliable.

Source 7: A Doctor

This source is reliable because a doctor is someone who has studied on medical issues for a long time.  

Source 8: http://search.cancerresearchuk.org

This source is reliable because Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Its groundbreaking work has saved millions of lives. Its websites have a wealth of valid information about cancer.

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