SOLAWARENESS: THE SUN SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM
The SOLAWAREness Sun Safety Education Program is designed to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure as well as provide tips on how to properly protect oneself from the sun’s harmful rays.
Our program is available for download at no cost – we believe sun safety should be accessible to everyone. The program can be used in schools, by public health officials to educate their communities, or by anyone who is interested in learning more about the sun’s effects on our bodies and appropriate protection.
THE UV INDEX KNOWLEDGE GAP
The UV index (UVI) is an indicator of the intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet rays – the higher the UVI, the greater the potential for damage to the skin and eyes, and the less time it takes for damage to occur.1
The UVI was adopted by the World Health Organization in 1994 as an international standard – and intended to raise public awareness of the risks associated with over-exposure to UV rays. However, a 2019 systematic review of over 20 years of international research on UV Index awareness, supported by the National Insitutes of Health, concluded that the UVI is neither widely understood nor influential on sun protection.2
…Even if individuals notice the UVI displayed in the media, many do not understand it enough to inform their sun-related behaviors.2
OUR APPROACH: THE SOLAWARE INDEX
The SOLAWARE Index translates the World Health Organization’s standard UV Index into terms that are easy for anyone to quickly understand – bridging the existing gap in public understanding of how to interpret and utilize the UVI.
The SOLAWARE Index converts real-time UV information into the number of minutes until skin damage can be expected under local conditions, without protection, serving as an effective warning that quickly and clearly communicates the potential damage from unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays.
1 The World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/uv/faq/skincancer
2 C. Heckman, K. Liang, M. Riley. Awareness, understanding, use, and impact of the UV index: A systematic review of over two decades of international research. Preventive Medicine, Volume 123, 2019, Pages 71-83, ISSN 0091-7435, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.03.004.