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Sun Safety

Skin cancer is the most common cancer affecting New Zealanders. This is partly due to the fact that in New Zealand we have skies that are clear and low in pollution, which results in especially high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We are also closer to the sun in summer, have some very fair skin types and love being outdoors! 

Too much UV radiation can cause skin cancers, including deadly melanoma.  Fortunately, you can be SunSmart by protecting yourself and your family from too much UV radiation while still enjoying our great kiwi outdoor lifestyle. All you need to do is Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.  It is also important to avoid exposure to UV radiation from tanning devices such as sunbeds.   With weather that is very changeable – rain or cloud one minute and sun the next - it is important to be SunSmart all year round and especially so between 10am and 4pm during daylight savings months (September to April). 

The facts

  • Every year about 60,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with skin cancer and 300 die from melanoma.

  • New Zealand has the highest melanoma rates in the world.

  • It is the ultraviolet radiation from the sun – not the sun’s heat or high temperatures – that causes sunburn.

  • Ultraviolet radiation levels can still be high enough on cloudy, windy or cool days to cause sunburn.

  • All skin types – fair, olive or darker – can sunburn.

For more information about how you can be SunSmart, visit the SunSmart website.

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