|Locals driving in Phan Đăng Lưu Street, Hồ Chí Minh City on March 6 as the UV Index hit high levels. VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt
HCM CITY — Residents in some southern localities are being told to protect themselves after the UV Index hit “extremely high” levels.
Experts say this puts human health at risk, and warn that avoiding sunlight is not enough, as UV exists during rainy and cloudy days.
Data from the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHF) from March 6-8, 2023 showed HCM City, Nha Trang, Cần Thơ, Cà Mau saw UV Index levels rise to 10.
Level 10 shows the volume of UV that can impact detrimentally human skin can burn after just 25 minutes. Level 11 and above means a threatening volume of UV, which can damage human skin and burn eyes if outside for just 15 minutes without any protection.
UV exists around human life. Just 10 per cent of UV exists in sunlight, therefore avoiding UV is not simply just avoiding sunlight.
High UV levels in southern Việt Nam can be blamed on the weather condition. UV appears mostly during clear skies, in the middle of the dry season and in conjunction between dry and rainy seasons in southern Việt Nam. Global warming which caused a hole in the ozone layer can also be a reason for why UV Index are higher recently.
Doctors recommended people should consider not going out when the UV Index is above seven. If it reaches 10, it is extremely harmful, and people should stay inside to avoid reacting directly to sunlight. Many prevention methods should be taken including covering yourself thoroughly during the sun, not going out when it is extremely sunny and using protection products, such as suncream, lotion, or sprays.
People are also told to stay away from glass buildings and glass and metal windows which also reflect UV. When swimming at the beach or outdoor pools, they need to wear sunscreen and sunglasses, since UV can go through water or be in the sand to affect their skin.
However, they should not worry much about the UV impact, experts said. People can continue their normal life activities with protection methods to avoid UV.
Dr Ngô Minh Vinh of Phạm Ngọc Thạch Medical University said UV can have many positive impacts on people's health, despite lots of detrimental effects. They can help synthesise vitamin D, kill bacteria as well as sterilise and treat psoriasis. — VNS