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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

L.A. Anticipates High Level on UV Index

As Los Angeles experiences a heat wave, a high level on the ultraviolet index is expected on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service, Los Angeles is expected to reach level 9 on the ultraviolet index level on Wednesday afternoon.

LA is anticipating high levels of UV light (Photo courtesy AP)
LA is anticipating high levels of UV light (Photo courtesy AP)

The highest exposure to ultraviolet light is at noon, when the sun's rays directly hit the surface of the Earth and the sun is at its highest point.

The National Weather Service website indicates that "different types of cloud cover may block or enhance UV rays. While thick, dark clouds can block UV radiation, puffy or thin-layered clouds do not."

A reading of 0-2 on the ultraviolet index indicates minimal exposure level. Very fair skinned people could become sunburned in 30 minutes if not protected.

A reading of 3-4 on the ultraviolet index indicates a low exposure level, so that those with fair complexions could become sunburned in 15-20 minutes if not protected.

A reading of 5-6 on the ultraviolet index indicates a moderate exposure level. A person with fair skin could be safe from sunburn for 10-12 minutes without protection.

A high exposure level of 7-9 means that a person could be sunburned in 7-8 minutes.

A very high exposure level reading of 10 or more means a fair skinned individuals can be sunburned after as little as four minutes, if they don't have proper protection.

Ultraviolet radiation can lead to several health problems, ranging from skin cancer to cataracts.


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