Think you're savvy about the sun and its rays? Take this true-or-false quiz and find out.
1. True. Ozone in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) blocks harmful UV rays; if it's too thin, more UV rays can slip through. Don't confuse atmospheric stratospheric ozone with ground-level ozone, a primary component of smog.
2. True. When CFCs leak into the atmosphere from such appliances as air conditioners and refrigerators, they damage the ozone layer. When this layer is thinner, it doesn't block as many harmful UV rays.
3. False. The ozone layer is expected to repair itself by the year 2050 if the United States and over 178 countries that signed the Montreal Protocol continue to fulfill their obligations to stop producing and using harmful CFCs.
4. False. Clouds block only a portion of harmful UV rays. You still need to protect yourself on cloudy days.
5. False. Sun lamps in tanning parlors emit UVA rays, which are linked to serious health conditions, such as skin cancer. There's no such thing as a safe tan!! Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of skin damage.
6. False. The middle of the day (between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.), when the sun is most intense, is the worst time for sun exposure.
7. False. Ultraviolet rays can harm you all year round. Don't wait for a hot, sunny day at the beach to protect yourself. Remember that UV rays aren't associated with the sun's heat or light.
8. False. Although darker skin has more natural pigment, which protects it, it's still susceptible to many of the damaging effects of UV radiation.
9. True. Ultraviolet rays can increase your risk of cataracts, which, if untreated, can blind you.
10. True. Researchers have discovered that you're much more likely to get skin cancer if you've had a bad sunburn.
11. True. Sunscreens that are less than SPF 15 simply don't cut it, so why settle for something that doesn't give you good protection? Be sure to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.
12. True. Using sunscreen and wearing long-sleeve shirts, hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes and skin.
How did you do?
Give yourself 1 point for each correct answer.
If you scored:
10-12 points: You're sunwise!! Make sure you use your "SunWisdom" when you're outside!!
6-9 points: You're sun-so-so. You know some of the basics, but need some brushing up.
0-5 points: You're sunfoolish. Watch out-what you don't know can hurt you!!
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise.