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UV levels herald SunSmart reminder for Melbourne Cup Carnival

Monday 1 November, 2010

With the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicking off today, Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging race-goers to be SunSmart and remember to Slip! Slop! Slap! Seek! and Slide!

"When we are talking about sunburn it is not temperature or sunshine that counts, it is the UV level," SunSmart Manager Sue Heward said. "At this time of year the UV is reaching extreme levels (11+) and it can take as little as 11 minutes for the first signs of sunburn to appear."

"You can still get skin damage on mild or cloudy days due to the high levels of UV radiation that can penetrate clouds. Any UV exposure that causes your skin to tan or burn adds to your total lifetime dose of UV and increases your skin cancer risk."

Melanoma is the most common cancer in young people aged 15 - 39 years. With a bit of forward planning, you can significantly reduce your risk of skin and eye damage, signs of ageing and ultimately skin cancer.

"Stick with a sure thing this Melbourne Cup Carnival and bet on slip, slop, slap, seek and slide on race day," she said.

SunSmart tips for this year's Melbourne Cup Carnival:

Check the daily UV level before heading to the races and the time of the day that sun protection is required. Remember to:

  • Slip into a stylish race outfit that covers as much of your skin as possible.
  • Slop on 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours. Don't use sunscreen to extend your time in the sun.
  • Slap on a wide brimmed hat provides good protection for your face and neck.
  • Seek shade indoors, under an umbrella or marquee during peak UV times (10am to 3pm).
  • Slide on sunglasses - they are a great fashion accessory and protect your eyes from sun damage. Make sure they meet Australian Standards.

The SunSmart UV Alert is available at, in the weather section of daily newspapers and on the Bureau of Meteorology website. Live UV levels for Melbourne are at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. Follow @CancerVic on Twitter and get daily UV updates for Melbourne.