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Sunlight – Good and Bad Effects

March 8, 2011 | Life & Leisure

Sun plays a vital role in our lives—it primarily gives light and it warms up the world. Without the sun’s presence, the earth may probably get frozen in no time. However, due to the worsening of the protective ozone layer condition, sun received a bad name as it is believed to contribute to skin cancers and other skin conditions. Many experts argue whether sunlight is good or bad for our body and health.

Sun is believed to be one of the stars in the universe and some also says that it is a sphere of gas that gives off energy. As the energy travels towards the earth’s surface, it undergoes friction creating heat, which transforms the hydrogen into helium.

So far in the world’s history, the hottest place on earth is El Azizia, Libya which has the record-breaking temperature of 57.8 degree Celsius. Others claimed that there are places hotter than El Azizia that has even reached the 66 degree Celsius but it isn’t recorded officially.

Sun and Tanning

Every summer, more and more Americans love to stay under the sun almost whole day to get that beautiful tan in the skin. When you say “tan”, it talks about the darkening of the skin due to sun exposure but not to the point of burning it. However, due to the damage of the protective layers of the earth to shield it from harmful UV rays, people can be at risk of Sun’s dangerous effects to the skin.

You can still stay under the sun provided that you have enough protection for your skin like using sun block and lotions with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 and higher. The higher the SPF, the better it is since it works to block the UV rays even how long you are exposed to sun light.

A much better protection is to wear long sleeves, pants and wide hats/umbrellas.

What are the Good Effects of the Sun?

Aside from the Light and heat it gives, there are lots of benefits that you can get from healthy amount of exposure to the sun. These are the following:

  • Vitamin D. This vitamin is one of the most important elements in maintaining the health of our bones and teeth. Without vitamin D, calcium will not be synthesized and lack of sun exposure will soon lead to bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis. Sun is its most abundant source—though you can find it in some of the foods like eggs, fish oils and fat of meat, it is still not enough compared to the sun’s rays. Just make sure that you stay under the sun for only 15-20 minutes in a day preferable 7AM.
  • It is antidepressant. When the sun strikes the skin, the body will release endorphins which are a contributory factor of our high feeling.
  • Kills bacteria and other microbes. There are gems that are heat sensitive, so it is wiser to have adequate exposure of sunlight everyday to avoid being infected with it.

What are the Bad Effects of the Sun?

Sun can be very hazardous if we abuse our exposure to it. Naturally the sun’s peak when it comes to heat is at 10 AM to 3 PM. Experts advices the people to avoid sun exposure during those hours.

  • Sun Burn—this is one of the most common effects of the sun. Not only it is painful but it also contributes to damages of the kin which speeds up the ageing of skin cells.
  • Premature skin ageing—as what I’ve mentioned above, sun exposure will alter the pigment of the skin and it can easily absorb free radicals.
  • Skin Cancers—Especially for fair-skinned people, too much exposure to sun will soon lead to development of melanomas and other malignancies.

As you can see, sun can be good and can be bad for the body. However, the most important thing that people should learn is to discipline them not to overexpose themselves on the peak of sunlight without protection.  About 15-20 minutes per day is already enough and you can definitely enjoy its good benefits.

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