Citizens urged to be UV aware

MEA Council will provide regular social media updates on the ultraviolet (UV) index at locations throughout the area during June, July and August.
MEA Council will provide regular social media updates on the ultraviolet (UV) index at locations throughout the area during June, July and August.

Residents in Ballymena and the wider Mid and East Antrim borough are being encouraged to be UV aware this summer.

Working in partnership with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and the Public Health Agency, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will provide regular social media updates on the ultraviolet (UV) index at locations throughout the area during June, July and August.

Commenting on the initiative, Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Cheryl Johnston, said: “The UV index is a vital indicator and this campaign will enable Council to alert people in the borough if they are at risk to harmful rays, and issue sun safety guidance from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland as part of the Care in the Sun campaign.

“This could include seeking shade, covering up or applying sunscreen, or for particularly high readings, avoid being outside at certain times. Updates on the UV index will be posted on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s social media channels. This is the third year we have teamed up with the charity on this initiative.

“The last two years the response from our residents was excellent and the updates really helped to raise awareness and highlight the dangers.

“The health and wellbeing of our citizens is vitally important and a key aspect of the borough’s Putting People First Community Plan.

“We want all residents to enjoy long, healthy and active lives in a borough which offers high quality public services and health equality for all,” said Councillor Johnston.

The UV index is an important indicator to alert people about the need to use sun protection, with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council set to circulate warnings if there is a risk to residents’ health.

Skin cancer is understood to be the most common cancer in Northern Ireland, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all cancers.

‘Care in the Sun’ was set up as part of the Northern Ireland Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy and aims to reduce the incidence of skin cancer, and deaths from it, in the province.