When it comes to protecting the body from UV rays, a combination of clothing and and sunscreen may be the best option for you and for the environment. It is important to note that protecting one's self from the harm that prolonged exposure to UV rays can do. We also need to know the good that that the sun does for us. As noted by healthyfully" The sun rays themselves don’t actually contain any vitamin D; instead, skin that is penetrated by specific ultraviolet rays works to synthesize this energy into vitamin D, starting a process involving the liver and kidneys to create the essential hormone calcitriol."
What are we learning today? We know that years of sunscreen use in an attempt to keep humans guarded from the effects of prolonged UV exposure has had a devastating effect of the environment. National Geographic reports "When you swim with sunscreen on, chemicals like oxybenzone can seep into the water, where they’re absorbed by corals. These substances contain nanoparticles that can disrupt coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching."
There are further effects when traditional sunscreens end up on the beach and then get washed into the water and off bodies and into drains.
Also, see our part 1 to this series.
What is UPF? As opposed to SPF which only block UVB(unless listed as a broad spectrum product) , UPF(ultraviolet protection factor) blocks both UVA & UVB.
Why is that important? With respect to UVA rays, the WHO reports that "recent studies strongly suggest that it may enhance the development of skin cancers. The mechanisms of this UVA damage are not fully understood, but a popular hypothesis assumes that UVA increases oxidative stress in the cell."
We need to pay attention micro plastics. More and more were are understanding the effects and realities of micro plastics on the environment and living creatures. One thing you can do to both enjoy the outdoors safely and be conscious of our effects on the environment is choose clothing product the are PFC-Free. PFC's( PerFluorinated Compound) are found in clothing, cook ware, and multiple other products. PFC's are/were a popular choice in manufacturing because of the stability of the compound, the trade off of manufacturing with this compound is that it persists in the environment forever, entering the eco-system through drains, dumping and shedding. So...make sure to chose PFC-Free clothing.
PFC-Free Sun Protection Options
Enjoy the the outdoors and find your adventure!