For many years the Dutch Cancer Council, just like most of their peers in other countries, was recommending people to stay away from tanning under the midday sun and always protect the skin with sun-blocking lotions.
They were all misled by inflated statistics over melanoma-diagnoses handed to them by dermatologists employed by large cosmetic companies. (see my post “their-task-is-to-improve-our-health-–-but-how-can-we-trust-them-after-this“)
Those producers of chemical sunscreen lotions, the largest of them being the French L'Oreal, saw their sales sky-rocket in the same pace as their “tame” dermatologists manged to scare more and more people with flawed melanoma-statistics.
Fortunately for mankind, at least in the Netherlands, some members of the Dutch Cancer Council, seem to have a broader view than those who have focused only on skin-cancer.
Their previous advice of avoiding the midday sun and always using sunscreen has resulted in more and more people being deficient in Vitamin-D. This has created a sharp increase in all cancer-cases.
The new advice, to expose arms, hands and face to sunlight 15-30 minutes everyday before 3 PM, is based on the fact that UVB-rays from the sun then can reach the skin and produce Vitamin-D in the most natural way. That is at least the theory behind the advice.
In practice we also have to take into account when during the day and during the year it is possible for UBV-rays from the sun to reach the earth.
There are mainly two criteria that decides that possibility:
- The ozone-layer, which reflects the UVB-rays if they are coming in from the sun below 50 degrees above the horizon.
- If there are any obstacles like clouds and/or pollution in their way.
The video below demonstrates how to calculate the first criteria, the angle of the sun above the horizon.
The result of the calculation shows that if you are in Amsterdam, you can get UVB from the sun only in the period from April 25th until August 20th. In the middle of the summer (June 25th), the angle of the sun above the horizon is higher than 50 degrees between 10:20 AM and 3 PM and the closer towards the start and finish dates of the “UVB-season”, the shorter time each day.
Other places with approximately the same time-schedule as Amsterdam (i.e. approximately the same latitude) are: Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk and, in Russia, Lipetsk, Irkutsk and Chita.
The rest of the year, from August 20th until April 25th, the Dutch population, as well as everyone else, can get the cancer-risk-reducing benefits from the Cancer Council's new recommendations only by tanning in a solarium.
So don't listen to the false advice from those working for the producers of sun-protection lotions. Go and get some Vitamin-D where you can find it. Just be sure not to over-dose (not to burn your skin). If you follow my advice in the previous post “Do You Know How To Tan?“, you can get all the benefits from tanning and none of the disadvantages.
Watch the video in order to find out how you can calculate the time of the “UVB-season” at your place.