Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sunscreen and goggles - 6,000 miles south of the Equator?


As today's satellite photo from NASA demonstrates, an enormous hole in the ozone layer of our atmosphere continues to persist over the Antarctic. Within the outlines of this hole, ultraviolet rays fall on the surface of the Earth with full force.

Epidemiological studies by the World Health Organization have demonstrated that excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun materially increases the incidence (among the unprotected, at least) of malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the cornea, and cataracts.

I figure that with a lifetime of sailing, I had used up whatever exposure allowance I had coming. So with the advice of a dermatologist and mountaineering experts, I purchased the highest value sunscreen I could find (70 PSF), the darkest sunglasses available (with 100% UV protection and 95% reduction in sunlight), and a noseguard.

The hole in the ozone layer is entirely man made. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) released from air conditioners and aerosol cans are the culprit. Scientists recently reported that international treaties agreed to in 1996 have stabilized the amount of CFC in the atmosphere and they hope that this wound in the earth's atmosphere will ultimately heal itself.

Gear:

Julbo Colorado Alti Spectron X6 Sunglasses
http://www.altrec.com/shop/detail/17931/

Hawaiin Tropic oz.one Sunblock SPF#70 4 oz.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000H8DUUW/sz-category77-20/ref=nosim

Beko Nose Guard
http://www.guideschoice.com/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=12

Sources:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs305/en/index.html
http://www.ozonelayer.noaa.gov/science/basics.htm
http://toms.gsfc.nasa.gov/

1 comment:

mbe said...

you are going to come back looking like my father!