Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Sarasota, FL      High:    91    Low:    69

First of all, it's HOT....Going to be 90 degrees for the next few days....And, yep, it's humid...Welcome to Florida's early summer....which appears here to stay....

On the weather this morning and every morning, they give the UV report...UV rays are a form of energy and are radiation ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer, and eye diseases such as cataracts (so wear those sunglasses, folks!) and macular degeneration. UV rays are an invisible form of radiation.They are both harmful and helpful. UV rays are  beneficial in that they help your body produce vitamin D naturally, which protects against colon cancer and helps build bone strength. It's sort of a quandary--when you live in a southern latitude climate, you are told to wear sunscreen all the time, yet other reports say it's good to let your body absorb some rays withOUT sunscreen now and then, so your body can naturally manufacture vitamin D. So do you wear sunscreen all the time or just some of the time? Sparky votes for all of the time while in Florida, but she doesn't practice what she preaches! (No, siree! I'm on her all the time about it! says a concerned E.)

The most common UV rays is sunlight which produces 3 types of UV rays--UVA, UVB, and UVC.  Most of what our skin comes in contact with is UVA with some UVB. UVA rays reach the outer layer of your skin, the epidermis, and UVB rays reach the middle layer of your skin, the dermis. When you buy sunglasses, you will see reference to these two types of rays on the better sunglasses.

If you think that a cloudy day doesn't mean you need to wear sunglasses or sunscreen, THINK AGAIN! Cloud cover has little significant effect on UV rays. And if you are at the beach, UV rays are MAGNIFIED many times by the reflection off the water and the sand. But you probably already knew that. Sparky is just reminding herself. :-)

The UV radiation report index was developed by the National Weather Service and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). It indicates the strength of solar UV radiation on a scale from 1, which is very low, to 11+ which is extremely high. Here's a handy dandy little chart to help you know how to protect yourself in southern climates. When levels are high, they recommend you stay out of the sun during the worst part of the day for UV exposure which is from 10:00-4:00 PM.

UV Protection Recommendations
UV IndexRisk LevelRecommendations
2 or lessLow1. Wear sunglasses.
2. If you burn easily, use sunscreen with an SPF* of 15+.
3 - 5Moderate1. Wear sunglasses.
2. Cover up and use sunscreen.
3. Stay in the shade near midday, when the sun is strongest.
6 - 7High1. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
2. Cover up and use sunscreen.
3. Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
8 - 10Very high1. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
2. Cover up and use sunscreen.
3. Minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
11+Extreme1. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
2. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15+) liberally every two hours.
3. Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
*SPF = sun protection factor
Information based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Today, the UV level is 11 here in Sarasota.  Get your sunscreen on, Sparky! And forget the beach today!

Sparky is TERRIBLE about using it, which is bad, because her dad died from skin cancer and lung cancer. Sparky baked herself all the way through high school and college as a life guard in the summers, and as a young mother well into her thirties....She slathered sun screen on her kids but never on herself. Not good! But she IS wearing her sunglasses more....Thanks to Eldy's constant reminders!

By the way, if you are in the market for sunglasses, or needing to replace a pair you've lost, (AHEM! Sparky is on about her 5th pair since we've been on the road, clarifies Eldo,) wraparounds are the best protection for your eyes. We buy "fitovers", glasses that go over our regular glasses so we don't have to mess with expensive prescription sunglasses.  You can buy them ultra cheaply at big flea markets for about 10.00 a pair, or at Walmart for 20.00 a pair. Here's a great link to all about sunglasses, tints, etc. sunglasses...http://www.allaboutvision.com/faq/sunglasses.htm
When purchasing sunglasses, be sure to look for sunglasses that protect 100% against UV rays.

OK, now you know all you need to know about UV rays and sunglasses! Or not.... :-)  Sparky will wear her sunglasses if you guys promise to wear yours more! (She's gonna wear them anyway...says E. With macular degeneration in her family, she had better wear them!)  Yes, dear......Bye for now...We're going garage sale-ing tomorrow! One of Sparky's favorite things to do.... Yay!

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