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Should we spend time in the sun?

Free essay example:

Clinton Woollams

GCSE Coursework Miss Butler

GCSE Coursework

Should we spend time in the sun?

In this GSCE coursework? I am going to write about should we spend time in the sun? I am going to answer this question by using secondary sources of information by researching on the internet. These are some of the reasons you might want to spend time in the sun: it can treat skin conditions like Eczema and it processes vitamin D in the body, which is useful because vitamin D is vital as it maintains strong bones. Some of the reasons you might not want to spend time in the sun are; it can cause skin cancer, which can seriously damage your body or at its worst it can even cause death ,sun stroke and also premature aging but I will tell you more about these matters later on. In my conclusion I will give my opinion if you should spend time in the sun based in what I have found.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can be a very serious disease and over the past few years it has been increasing rapidly, Skin cancer is mainly caused by UVA & UVB rays penetrating the skin. Skin cancer is becoming increasingly more common for several reasons: people are living longer, people are going on more holidays abroad plus many people still consider sun tans to be healthy. There are two main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, which can be treated easily and is not life threatening, and there is malignant melanoma which can be deadly if it isn’t treated in the early stages.

 Evolving Melanoma

Melanomas can often look like this

I gathered this information from this website:   http://www.canadianskincancer.com/

Economical Factors

With the increasing problem of skin cancer it is costing the National Health Service (NHS) more and more money to treat this problem. As a solution to this the government could do more advertising campaigns to make sure people take more care in the sun.

People who spend a lot of time in the sun like farmers, builders and gardeners are more likely to develop skin cancer because of their prolonged exposure to the sun. It is quite likely that most Ultraviolet radiation will occur before the age of 20, and we know this because of statistics. People with darker skin are much less likely to develop skin cancer because the melanin pigment in there skin gives them protection. A fairer skinned person is much more likely to develop skin cancer and children young adults and elderly people have a bigger chance of developing the disease. I have gathered this information from this website: www.cancerbackup.org.uk

image00.pngThis graph shows the levels of skin cancer and how many people got it in 2004. It shows that the amount of people diagnosed with skin cancer increases with age. For example 9% of the diagnosis of skin cancer are of people 55-59 however only 2% of cases are age 15-19 therefore there are 7% more diagnoses for ages 55-59 then 15-19 This happens because as people age they have a lot more exposure to the sun which increases the risks of skin cancer.

Premature Aging

Another reason why you should not spend too much time in the sun is because of Premature Aging. Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. I gathered this information on this website: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/basicfacts.html

Vitamin D

On the other hand there are good factors of the sun. For example the sun helps you produce vitamin D by asmall amount of a chemical closely related to cholesterol is present in the skin. UVB light can penetrate the very outer skin layer, and it "catalyses" a reaction.Vitamin D is very important to the body it builds and maintains strong bones our bodies produce vitamin D when we are exposed to UV rays from the sun which is the main source of vitamin D. It is thought that vitamin D can reduce the chance of getting Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, and Prostate Cancer.  I’ve read an article called ‘Vitamin D Research may have doctors prescribing sunshine’ and it says ‘Several studies observing large groups of people found that those with higher vitamin D levels also had lower rates of cancer.’ I know that this is reliable because doctors have been studying this theory for a long time the article also says that you can’t wear sunscreen in order to get the rite kind of UV rays to make Vitamin D. (USA Today.    5-21-2005 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-05-21-doctors-sunshine-good_x.htm

I also retrieved some of this information from:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D#S...

If you don’t have enough vitamin D for a long time then your bones will start to soften. This can lead to rickets in children which softens bones and can lead to deformities, fractures and osteoporosis in older or elderly people.  Vitamin D can also be found in these foods Cod liver oil, Sardines, Herring, Salmon, Tuna, Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Margarine and some fortified breakfast cereals, but 90% of your vitamin D comes from the sun.

I gathered this information from these websites:



Seasonal Affective Disorder

Another reason we should spend time in the sun is because of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression which develops when certain people do not receive enough light hours. Seasonal affective disorder occurs during the winter. Getting out in the sun as much as possible can help to treat suffers with sad but in some more severe cases there are special therapies and light boxes available to try and simulate the light that comes from the sun these boxes are normally placed in windows to simulate the rising sun in the morning.

I retrieved this information from this website:  http://www.sada.org.uk/


I know these sources are reliable because the websites I have retrieved the data from are respectable and trusted and most of the theories have been studied by top scientists and doctors for a long time such as the information in the USA today article. Some of these sources mite be more reliable than others for example  http://www.sada.org.uk is a charity so the information from this website mite be more reliable than a website like this   http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/basicfacts.html which is a dot com website which means it doesn’t belong to the government and this mite not be a reliable source for information.

In conclusion I think that spending time in the sun is ok if you use the correct skin protection. I would always recommend that people use a sun spray with a factor of 15 or over if you are going to be in the sun for a long time. I also think that UV protected sun glasses should always be worn. The sun can be very pleasurable as long as you wear the correct protection and make sure that you do not over expose yourself to the sun. I have come to this conclusion because sun protection can dramatically decrease the chance of developing skin cancer as I have talked about above.  On the other hand, I’ve also talked about how sun can be good such as in the cases of Vitamin D and Seasonal Affective Disorder. As I’ve said above, you need a bit of sun exposure without sunscreen to make Vitamin D. In conclusion you need a balance of protection and sun exposure.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Humans as Organisms section.


Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

A good essay. The candidate explores a wide range of data and problems that the sun can cause concentrating on a variety of different factors within each group. The only thing letting this essay down is the lack of reliable ...

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Response to the question

A good essay. The candidate explores a wide range of data and problems that the sun can cause concentrating on a variety of different factors within each group. The only thing letting this essay down is the lack of reliable sources, and poor grammar in places.

Level of analysis

The candidate explains the rise of skin cancer well, relating possible explanations for the rise with the cause, and some pictures to accompany it. The introduction is also good as it presents a balanced view of what the candidate is going to expand on throughout the main essay. The website is not entirely reliable as for an english essay as the source is from canada. The candidate also goes on to expand on problems caused by the sun relating to occupation, government propaganda and skin tone which shows good consideration of many other factors relating to problems in the sun. The graph used is also good to support their research. The conclusion is good as it considers the different balanced views on the good and bad points about the sun.

Quality of writing

Wording slightly awkward in places due to minor grammatical errors. Conversational tone used, and first person which is not really good to use for scientific essays as it does not look professional, as essays should look unbiased and factual, whereas a conversational tone can make the essay look personalised.

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Reviewed by skatealexia 30/07/2012

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