UV Exposure and the Need for Shade

We are surrounded by ultraviolet rays whenever we go outside – even on the cloudiest days.

Despite UV rays only making up a small portion of the sun’s energy, sunlight is the main source of UV radiation.

There are also different types of UV rays based on how much energy they have. However, even the highest of rays don’t have enough energy to penetrate deeply into the body. As a result, their main effect is on the skin.

Three Types of UV Rays

As per the American Cancer Society, UV radiation is divided into 3 main groups: UVA, UVB and UVC. While having the least energy among the rays, UVA can cause skin cells to age and can cause some indirect damage to DNA cells. These rays are mainly linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles. UVB rays, on the other hand, have slightly more energy than UVA. They can damage the DNA in skin cells directly and are the main reason for sunburns. According to the American Cancer Society, they are thought to be the cause of most skin cancers.

The last group, UVC, has more energy that the first two. Fortunately, they don’t reach the ground and are not a risk factor for skin cancer. But, UVC rays can also come from man-made sources like arc welding torches and mercury lamps.

About 95% of the UV rays from the sun that reach the ground are UVA, with the remaining 5% being UVB. The amount of UV exposure a person gets depends on the strength of the rays, the length of time the skin is exposed, and whether or not the skin is protected with clothing or sunscreen.

We know too much sun exposure can be harmful. Conversely, avoiding the sun all together can also be problematic. Your skin naturally produces vitamin D when it is exposed to UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D has many health benefits including lowering the risk of certain cancers. In addition, fresh air, natural light, greenery and enjoying outdoor activities all support our bodies’ well-being. So how do you find the balance between over and under exposure?

The Need for Shade

Regardless of weather or location, it’s crucial to shield yourself from UV exposure whenever you go outside. What is protecting you when entertaining, grilling, or even simply lounging outdoors for hours at a time?

With a quality shade solution, skin cancer prevention is made simpler. Our retractable shades allow you to enjoy the outdoors under reliable sun shelter that effectively minimizes UV exposure.

It is recommended to stay out of the sun during the peak burning hours, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)and the World Health Organization (WHO), are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can extend your shade during these hours while relaxing in your back yard. During the early morning or late evening, you can retract the shades to enjoy the morning breeze or twinkling night sky.

All of the fabric lines used to make our overhead shades have a high percentage of UV protection, so you have lots of options to choose from. Ranging from our Sunbrella line which offers 150+ colours and up to 99% UV Protection, to our Ferrari line with 40 colours and 100% UV protection. Refer to our fabric guide blog to learn more about the options available.

Looking for UV protection? Contact us today.