It is summer time and the UV exposure may be a great problem, especially for persons having sensitive skin exposed to the sun’s radiation. Due to progressive air pollution and the reduction of the ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere, the recrudescence of UV rays is increasing year by year during the summer months; this implies that people have to be protected from the negative effects of UV radiation on human health (see Figure 1):
The graph that shows the correlation between the burden of disease and the personal exposure to UV rays (Source: who.int)
“Prolonged human exposure to solar UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on the skin, eye and immune system. Sunburn (erythema) is the best-known acute effect of excessive UV radiation exposure. Over the longer term, UV radiation induces degenerative changes in cells of the skin, fibrous tissue and blood vessels leading to premature skin aging, photodermatoses and actinic keratoses. Another long-term effect is an inflammatory reaction of the eye. In the most serious cases, skin cancer and cataracts can occur.
Skin cancer data from UK: Over 65,000 cases of skin cancer were reported in 1999
The number of skin cancer cases has more than doubled since the early 80s
Over 2,000 people die from skin cancer each year” (Source: World Health Organization)
How can the electronics technology help people to be more protected from the UV rays’ dangerous effects?
The first answer to this question comes from the Violet Plus device that can be worn as a wristband by the user; this smart device alerts the user by creating a small vibration when the level of exposure to the ultraviolet rays has reached an alert threshold.
At the same time, the violet solution indicates the time left before receiving skin damage and how much vitamin D is produced thanks to exposure to the sunlight; this is done by a dedicated app that can be downloaded from Google Play or from the Apple Store on the user’s smartphone (see Figure 2):
The electronics technology can be utilized to enhance UV protection with unprecedented effectiveness. That’s a very interesting aspect of the smart sun exposure approach. Do you think that it will effectively make the effects of the UV rays less dangerous and more useful for the production of the needed quantity for the human body of vitamin D?
In the next part of this blog series, I will further describe electronic setups to monitor the exposure of UV rays from sunlight and I will also describe what type of ICs could be utilized to realize the smart objects that protect our skin to guarantee a more healthy exposure to the sunlight, especially during the summer time.