With summer just around the corner, many will be rejoicing knowing that the sun will be out. Days often spent under a blanket indoors now turn to days outside at the beach, pool, or backyard. However, there are many people that do not realise the effects that the sun can have. UV radiation is very harmful and can seriously threaten health without people knowing. That is why the UV index is so important to keeping Australians safe.


What is UV Radiation?

UV, short for ultra violet, is one of the three forms of energy that the sun produces.

  • Visible Light – what is seen.

  • Infrared Radiation – what is felt.

  • UV Radiation – Not seen or felt.

Being exposed to UV radiation over time can often lead to skin cancer, in fact, it is known to be the leading cause of skin cancer. When combining such harsh consequences with the fact that it is not seen or felt, UV radiation really becomes an invisible killer. This is one of many reasons why shade sails, sunscreen and hats are so vital.

UV Index

UV radiation levels can vary day to day and contrary to what many believe, the temperature does not affect UV radiation. So how will you be able to tell what level the sun is emitting UV radiation? UV index is a tool that is able to tell you what level the UV radiation is outside.


Knowing the UV radiation level is vital and can truly ensure that you take the right precautions to stay safe from the dangerous effects of the sun. A weather forecast on websites will often inform you of the UV index, there are also apps and widgets for smartphones that can do this.

Did you Know?

  • Australia has one of the highest levels of UV and skin cancer in the world. 
  • Even in winter Australian UV levels can be within the “VERY HIGH” to “EXTREME” levels.
  • UV rays are so powerful that hospitals use them to disinfect medical equipment.
  • Skin damage can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes during peak UV periods.
  • UV rays account for 95% of melanoma cases in Australia.
  • Humidity can increase the effects of UV radiation.
  • You should start protecting yourself from UV as soon as the UV index reaches 3 or above.

How to Stay Protected?

Thankfully many precautions can be made to ensure that you and your family are protected from UV radiation. Applying sunscreen and wearing a hat should become a necessary habit for all Australians planning to be outside. Being in a shaded area wherever possible also plays a crucial role in sun safety. This is why many Australians have started to install shade sails in their homes and businesses. With our fabrics blocking up to 99% UV radiation, you can enjoy the outdoors safely.

Through the knowledge of UV radiation, UV index and how to stay protected, we can reduce the effect UV radiation has on many Australians. Please share this knowledge with your friends and family, and always remember to stay sun smart.

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