UV radiation causes 60,000 deaths a year

July 27, 2006

The World Health Organization based in Switzerland estimates 60,000 people die each year from spending too much time in the sun.

In a report on disease caused by ultraviolet radiation, the WHO says malignant melanoma is responsible for 48,000 deaths while other skin cancers cause the remaining 12,000 deaths, the BBC reports.

In addition to skin cancer, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation is responsible for sunburn, premature aging of the skin and triggering cold sores.

Dr. Maria Neira, WHO director for Public Health and the Environment, says while everyone needs some sun, too much can be deadly.

"Fortunately, diseases from UV such as malignant melanomas, other skin cancers and cataracts are almost entirely preventable through simple protective measures," Neira says.

Recommendations for prevention include limiting time in the midday sun, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen with a rating of 15 or above.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Is your fear of radiation irrational?

Related Stories

Is your fear of radiation irrational?

July 14, 2015

Bad Gastein in the Austrian Alps. It's 10am on a Wednesday in early March, cold and snowy – but not in the entrance to the main gallery of what was once a gold mine. Togged out in swimming trunks, flip-flops and a bath ...

Innovative light therapy reaches deep tumors

March 9, 2015

Light long has been used to treat cancer. But phototherapy is only effective where light easily can reach, limiting its use to cancers of the skin and in areas accessible with an endoscope, such as the gastrointestinal tract.

Sun may determine lifespan at birth, study finds

January 7, 2015

Could the Sun be your lucky—or unlucky—star? In an unusual study published Wednesday, Norwegian scientists said people born during periods of solar calm may live longer, as much as five years on average, than those who ...

X-ray tomography on a living frog embryo

May 16, 2013

Classical X-ray radiographs provide information about internal, absorptive structures of organisms such as bones. Alternatively, X-rays can also image soft tissues throughout early embryonic development of vertebrates. Related ...

Recommended for you

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

Blue skies, frozen water detected on Pluto

October 8, 2015

Pluto has blue skies and patches of frozen water, according to the latest data out Thursday from NASA's unmanned New Horizons probe, which made a historic flyby of the dwarf planet in July.

On soft ground? Tread lightly to stay fast

October 8, 2015

These findings, reported today, Friday 9th October, in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomechanics, offer a new insight into how animals respond to different terrain, and how robots can learn from them.

New method facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts

October 8, 2015

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.