Plan on spending a few more days at the beach before fall? Bringing a big umbrella to shade you from the sun is a good idea, but not quite as good as we once thought, according to a new study out of Spain.
A University of Valencia research team placed UV sensors at the base of a canvas beach umbrella to measure how much radiation manages to make it through. Surprisingly, a large amount of cancer-causing, age-inducing rays-up to 34%-can still find you under your sunshade.
“The umbrella intercepts the direct radiation that comes from the sun,” explained study co-author Jose Antonio Martinez-Lozano, “but part of the diffused radiation … reaches the sensor from the sky not covered by the umbrella.”
Because a beach umbrella can’t completely protect you, it’s imperative to wear sunscreen. It’s also wise to wear a hat and stay out of the sun when it’s highest.
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