Is there anything better than a gorgeous sunny day? Nothing feels better than the warm sun on your skin, and when the sun is out, more people spend time doing outdoor activities with family and friends. It is important to be aware, however, that sun exposure has both positive and negative effects.
Positive effects of the sun include warmth (infrared radiation), light (visible light), and vitamin D3 synthesis in the body. Sunlight also enhances people's moods and kills pathogens. Despite these advantages, overexposure to UV radiation can also have adverse health effects, including sunburn, premature ageing, skin cancers, diseases of the eye, and immune suppression.
Before going out to enjoy the good weather, make sure you are aware of the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun and the measures you can take to protect yourself and your family.
Sunlight and Ultraviolet Exposure
This section contains background information on the sun and ultraviolet radiation. It also explains which environmental factors affect UV intensity. Learn about the positive and negative health effects of UV radiation (including skin cancer) and the factors that increase your risk for developing UV damage.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Sun safety is an important component of all healthy families. Learn the basics of sun protection and how to use the UV index, read our "Tips for Parents", and get first aid advice for sunburns.
UV Index Sun Awareness Program
This program encourages Canadian schools and daycares to teach children about UV radiation and how to practice sun safety. Get ideas for teaching sun protection, and find sun safety activities for kids.
To make an inquiry regarding sun safety, contact the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau.
For information from various agencies and non-Canadian government associations, consult the following websites:
For general information on ultraviolet radiation, sun safety, and what you can do to protect yourself, consult the following resources: