Delhi summers can cause skin cancer
THINK TWICE before going out this summer as recent data suggest that the ultraviolet (UV) levels in most Indian cities, including Delhi, can cause skin cancer. The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, had set up a monitoring system in Delhi in May and found the UV index to be somewhere in the range of 6 to 9. UV index of 0 to 4 is classified as no risk category while 4-5 has low risk. If the UV index reaches 5 to 7 range, it means it has medium health risk; and 7 to 10 carries high risk. Gufran Beig, chief programme scientist at IITM, says the reason for high UV index may be that the sun is almost vertical in May. If temperature increases, UV rays will also increase. According to data from private weather forcasting firm Accuweather.com, UV index touched 9 in Delhi, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Patna and several other cities on May 27. UV rays are of three types, A, B and C. UV-C gets filtered due to ozone layer while A and B reach Earth. "UV-A is beneficial for health but B becomes dangerous when it crosses the limit. It causes sunburns and can lead to skin cancer and cataract," says Abdul Wadud of Ranchi-based Birsa Agriculture University.